Say potato, say Agrico
The goal of our pedigree analysis project is to generate predictive values for parent plants to estimate the extent to which they pass traits (yield potential, for example) to offspring.
Potato is heterozygous, partly due to its outbreeding nature, making it suitable for different end-use (starch, table, processing etc.) but difficult to determine outcome of breeding.
Another challenge in breeding is how to manage autotetraploidy - a plant species whose chromosome complement consists of four copies of a single genome, a characteristic resulting from the doubling of an ancestral set of chromosomes. A technique to estimate breeding values (EBV) has been used frequently in animal breeding (improved cattle milk yield, pig slaughter weight etc.) but can also be applied to potato breeding. Ongoing projects have identified EBVs of parent cultivars for several traits (plant yield, maturity, total impression, skin finish). Using complimentary statistical analysis methodologies, it is possible to calculate breeding values from all plant relatives. These predictive values being used to support parent selections for breeding programmes.
Agrico Research works intensively on developing new, innovative potato varieties and is the leading knowledge institute in this field. We work on various breeding objectives aimed at developing varieties to meet the specific wishes of growers, the processing industry and consumer demand, both now and in the future, and around the world.
If you have a specific question or would like to know more about research carried out at Agrico UK, please feel free to contact us.