Germplasm obtained in 1984 from the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, can now be used to thwart golden and "white" potato-cyst nematodes in the United States.
The ARS reported July 26 that Bill Brodie, at the Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory, Ithaca, NY, and researchers at Cornell University at Ithaca are releasing seed potatoes with the resistance.
In addition, the germplasm will be deposited in the U.S. Potato Introduction Station Germplasm Collection at Sturgeon Bay, WI, for long-term storage in the ARS potato gene bank.
The golden nematode, one of the most feared in the industry, has so far been quarantined to New York state. It can wipe out whole potato crops by attacking plant roots and tubers.
Genetic resistance is crucial to controlling these and other microscopic worms, called plant-parasitic nematodes, that cause an estimated $9 billion in losses to U.S. agriculture each year.