Modern laboratories allow the selection of potatoes at the cellular level and significantly reduce the time for breeding new varieties.
Know-how is being tested today at the production base of the Ural Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture - a branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Urban Development of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the village of Maly Istok (Sverdlovsk Region). In two greenhouses with a total area of almost 600 square meters, 23 thousand potato plants grow.
The breeding and technological center was created for the first time in the Urals and has the principle of a phytotron — each seedling is placed in a special container, a certain temperature, humidity and backlight mode are automatically maintained inside the room. Each root crop is examined at the molecular level, penetrating the potato genome.
“The work on the project was carried out for three years, the laboratories were equipped with equipment. All this time, the creation of original varieties of potatoes did not stop. Recently, we presented two new disease-resistant and tasteful varieties of early potatoes - Alaska and Terra. Now we will be able to conduct new developments already at a new technological level. Our main task is to obtain new varieties with the best characteristics. There are 56 of them in potatoes, ranging from resistance to diseases and ending with suitability for processing, ”said Elena Shanina, chief research fellow of the Ural Research Institute of Agriculture, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences.
There are five such selection centers in the country so far. Thanks to their capabilities and state support, the regions will soon be able to establish industrial production of domestic seeds and provide agricultural producers with high-quality planting material.
It is worth noting that the Ural Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture is involved in the implementation of the large federal project “Ural Potato”, which is why the Institute’s scientists transfer new varieties to the seed farm in Beloyarsky District to create a super-elite gene pool. For example, this spring two new super-early potato varieties were transferred there - Alaska and Terra.
Text - Yulia Filimonova