Joseph Lofthouse, Landrace Seedsman
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Growing True Potato Seeds Collected in South America

Species List
Species Accession Location Description
Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum PI 558354 Isla Johnson, Aisen, Chile Flowers white. Fruits abundant, mature, some eaten by animals or birds. Tubers with purple skin and purple flesh. 3 feet elevation. 44 degrees south.
Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum PI 558369 Isla Gran Guaitecas, Aisen, Chile Tubers with purple skin. Fruits present. 3 feet elevation. 44 degrees south.
Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum PI 245847 Los Lagos, Chile In a garden. "Chaulinec" Tubers round; small shallow eyes; skin flesh-pink; flesh yellow. Low elevation. 42 degrees south.
       
Solanum stenotomum subs. goniocalyx PI 458393 La Paz Bolivia Pacajes. M. Zavaleta farm, near Caquiaviri. 13,000 feet elevation. 17 degrees south. Diploid, 2n=24.
       
Solanum vernei subsp. ballsii PI 320333 Jujuy, Argentina Wild. High altitude. 24 degrees south. Diploid, 2n=24.
Solanum vernei subsp. ballsii PI 458369 Huairahuasi, Argentina Wild. Elevation 10,500 feet. 24 degrees south. Along the path to Casa Colorado and Molulo. Diploid, 2n=24.
Research Notes
PI 558369: Quick to germinate (4 days). Grows quickly (10 X faster than typical). Candidate for direct seeding?

PI 245847: About 2 weeks to germinate. Typical growth.

PI 458393: Germination in about a week. Typical growth.

PI 458369: Very slow to germinate (more than a month).

PI 320333: Germination in about a week. Typical growth.

PI 558354: Germination in about a week. Typical growth.


To: USDA
Date: May 22, 2011

Thank you for your request for a progresss report. I received six potato seed accessions from GRIN in the spring of 2010. I'm reporting on the use of the seeds which are being incorporated into my potato breeding program.

I am an organic farmer in Northern Utah seeking to expand the genetic diversity of my potato crop, and to develop a potato land-race that is more adapted to my unique growing conditions and pests: High altitude, sun-drenched, low humidity, short season, well irrigated, desert garden rooted in limestone derived lake sediments. In addition to the seeds I received directly from GRIN, I am also growing about 30 lines of potatoes from true seeds. Many of these lines contain genes that came indirectly from GRIN via other growers: the descendents of seed collected in Bolivia, Peru, and the Andes.

In the 2010 growing season seeds from each accession were planted indoors under grow lights immediately upon arrival. Due to arriving in late spring, damage from a hail storm, and an unusually early frost in my normally short growing season, no tubers were produced in the 2010 growing season. The two accessions that grew best in the field were PI 558369 and PI 245847. Accession PI 458369 did not grow at all. The others were killed by hail.

During the 2010/2011 winter the accessions were grown indoors under grow lights hoping to produce tubers for planting in the spring: Two accessions produced 10 mm sized tubers in 120 days: PI 558369 and PI 245847. Accession PI 458393, produced one 2 mm tuber. After producing tubers, shoots from PI 558369, were rooted for transplant into the garden. The tubers are currently being acclimatized to break dormancy and will be planted out soon.

Based on previous growth patterns PI 558369 and PI 245847 are currently growing in pots preparatory to being tranplanted into the field after our last expected frost.

Of the thirty or so varieties of potatoes that I have grown from true seeds PI 558369 may be the most robust. The seedlings germinate quickly, are hardy, and grow vigorously. Early growth is an order of magnitude faster than for my other varieties.

One of the potato plants that I grew from true seed last summer produced tubers that were not damaged by wire-worms or scab: the two biggest problems for potatoes in my garden. The seed came from a grower who has used GRIN seed in his breeding program, so it's possible that some of it's genes may have arrived in my garden by way of GRIN.

Thank you for your seeds, they are a welcome addition to my breeding program. I'd welcome another request for feedback this fall.

From time to time I will update progress at: http://garden.lofthouse.com/true-potato-seed-south-america.phtml

Warm Regards,
Joseph
ꘀꙈꗎꔋꕧꖥꚄⴜ

Blog: Mother Earth News -- Landrace Gardening.

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