Hybrid Potatoes - Part One
Hybridization has changed the game for many crops like corn, wheat and rice. But potatoes have been limited by the fact that they are planted from seed tubers. But that might be changing, says Charles Miller, director of strategic alliances at hybrid potato breeding company Solynta.
Miller… “We isolated the genes necessary to manage the sterility so that you can produce hybrids. And of course, as you mentioned, we think about hybrid maize and the hybridization of those crops really changed the way agriculture looks in many countries. We went from variable yields in many of those crops to almost an ever increasing yield opportunity for growers around the world.”
Miller said some farmers want more climate resiliency bred into their potatoes, while others might be more focused on pest and disease resistance. But in either case, hybridization can change the game.
Miller… “Typically, when you think about creating a new potato variety, you're talking about 10 plus years easily, just to get to the pre commercial stages. And then you have to ramp up your supply. And that's where the problems even get extended further where you're talking another five to eight years to where you can truly test that. And with hybrid crops, you can move really quickly if you can identify the genes.”
Learn more at www.solynta.com