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 […]

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 […]

Potato: Relationships Between Domesticated Species

Being a fundamentally lazy person, I always prefer to search for work that has already been done by somebody else.  That can be frustrating in the world of plant breeding, where information tends to come in two forms: highly technical or excessively simplified.  There isn’t much middle ground.  My search for a chart showing the […]

Potato: Glycoalkaloid Toxicity

A tray containing a variety of different types of potatoes with the color adjusted to have a green tint

Introduction All things are poison, and nothing is without poison, the dosage alone makes it so a thing is not a poison. -Paracelsus Potatoes are poisonous.  You probably knew that if you are reading this blog, but it would be understandable if you had missed this fact throughout the years that you have been shoveling […]

Potato: Morphological Observations of USDA Accessions 2017

A pile of tiny tubers collected from seedlings of Careta Amarilla. Most ar round and colors include yellow, orange, red, and purple.

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: A Cytoplasm Primer

A diagram of a plant cell, showing the major organelles and structural components.

If it has been a long time since high school biology and you are rusty on the concept of cytoplasm, you can be forgiven.  It’s not something that most of us think about very often, but it is important to potato breeding, so let’s review. Cytoplasm is everything that is inside a cell but outside […]

Potato: What You Should Know About Potato Fruits

Seven potato berries still attached to the plant, held in hand. The berries are light breen and slightly ovoid. They have prominent articulations.

Overview Potato plants sometimes flower and then form berries. Potato berries form only in favorable weather and with sufficient pollination. Potato berries contain seeds that you can grow. The berries are toxic and should not be eaten. There is not usually any reason to remove the berries from the plant. In 2017, many areas of […]