Potato Glycoalkaloid Toxicity

Greened potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers

Overview All potatoes contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids, of which the most well-known is solanine. Potatoes accumulate glycoalkaloids primarily to deter pests. Glycoalkaloids are usually heavily concentrated in the foliage, but are also present in the tubers. A safety limit of 20 mg of total glycoalkaloids per 100 g of potato was established a century […]

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 Cytoplasm Types

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

Berries collected from domesticated potatoes

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. Seeds from berries that fall […]

Potato: Color Genetics

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A Summary of Potato Color Genetics Introduction Genes Controlling Color Pigments   Purple and Red   Yellow and Orange Color Distribution   Flower Color   Foliage Color Russeting Known Genotypes Introduction For many crops, you don’t have to search very far to find a nice summary chart of the major genes involved in economically important […]

Potato: A Summary of Wild Species and Their Qualities

This page is out of date, although I still find it useful for looking up synonyms and abbreviations.  For more detailed information about wild potato species, see our wild potato guide. This is one of those posts that is as much for my reference as anyone else’s.  Surprisingly, it is hard to find a simple […]

Potato Ploidy and Endosperm Balance Number

A micrograph showing two potato guard cells comprising a stomatum. The chloroplasts in each guard cell are marked. Six are present in one and seven in the other.

Introduction   How Seeds are Formed   Domesticated and Wild Potatoes   Ploidy   Monoploid and Haploid Numbers   Haploids Interactions of Ploidy in Crosses   Unreduced (2n) Gametes   Endosperm Ratio   Endosperm Balance Number   The Potato Gene Pool   Triploid Domesticated Potatoes   The Genetics of EBN   A Final Note on […]

About My Potato Breeding Projects

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Because we sell excess seed from my potato breeding projects, we get a lot of questions about what my goals are.  Those goals are sometimes hard to articulate because I haven’t thought through them as clearly as I have done for the other plants that I work with.  My work with potatoes goes back before […]

Summer heat and Andean crops

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This was a pretty normal year on the coast of Washington.  We had a cool winter, a cool spring, a cool summer, and so far, we’re having a cool fall.  We’re close enough to the ocean that the temperature of the Pacific just off shore is a much better predictor of our temperatures than anything […]