Oca: Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Leaf of an oca plant infected with Cauliflower Mosaic Virus

I recently spotted virus symptoms of a sort that I haven’t seen before on an oca plant.  Although oca is frequently infected with several different viruses, they are typically asymptomatic.  This plant had some lower leaves with obvious yellowing and mosaic and some leaf tip browning.  I ran it through a few ELISA tests for […]

Book Review: Pandora’s Potatoes – The Worst GMOs

Front cover of the book "Pandora's Potatoes" by Caius Rommens

I recently picked up a new book that should be of particular interest to freelance potato breeders: Pandora’s Potatoes The Worst GMOs by Caius Rommens.  I’ve read more than a few books about genetic engineering, including both technical and political/social discussions.  Through this, I have maintained a fairly neutral outlook.  I have not been particularly […]

Top 10 Beginner Mistakes with True Potato Seeds (TPS)

Potato (TPS) Seedlings

Growing new varieties of potatoes from true potato seeds is a lot of fun, but there is definitely a learning curve.  This post covers some of the most common mistakes that I have seen beginners make (and, in many cases, once made myself). 1. Starting too early This is probably the cardinal sin of growing […]

Arracacha: A New Beginning

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) variety comparison

Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) is just the sort of plant that I normally try to talk myself out of growing.  It is delicious, but a real challenge to grow in most climates.  It originated in the middle elevations of the Andes, a Goldilocks climate where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.  […]

Potato: Understanding and Overcoming Male Sterility

The majority of modern potato cultivars suffer from male sterility; they either produce little to no pollen or the pollen that they produce is not viable.  Male sterility is part of a complex of traits that makes life difficult for potato breeders.  Some varieties rarely flower at all, others will flower but rarely form berries […]

Potato: Germination of USDA Wild Potato Accessions

A black and white photo of a tray of Solanum brevicaule tubers. They are about 1 to 2 inches long, oval, and similar in form to baking potatoes.

This post is not really meant to be read start to finish.  The intent is that it will be picked up by search engines so that breeders and researchers working with these accessions in the future can find this information. We use accessions supplied by the USDA in some of our breeding work.  This report […]

Potato: Genetics – The Basics

Last year, I put together a summary of potato color genetics and ever since I have been getting emails asking questions.  A lot of those questions center on how to use the information.  I’m happy to try to answer those questions to the best of my ability, because I think potato genetics are fun.  This […]