New Potatoes Withstand Destructive Wireworms

Wireworm feeding damage is easy to spot, says Rich Novy, an Agricultural Research Service plant geneticist seeking to shore up America's $3.3 billion potato crop. The damage resembles a nail hole that has been punched into the spud, pitting its surface and making it less appealing for use in fresh-pack or processing markets.

ARS researchers and a former researcher have focused attention on two wild relatives of cultivated potatoes obtained from Chile and Bolivia: Solanum berthaultii and S. etuberosum in their efforts to create a cultivar resistant to wireworm.

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Originally posted Monday, Sep. 12, 2011