Performance of Commercially Available True Potato Seed Hybrids Grown from Tubers

in HortScience

Nine commercially available true potato seed (TPS) hybrids were compared to four standard clonal cultivars with respect to mean and uniformity of foliar characteristics and tuber traits important to the North American potato industry. The TPS hybrids were planted using second vegetative generation tubers derived originally from botanical seed. Ten plants from each plot were individually evaluated for plant height, vine maturity, early blight symptoms, and verticillium wilt symptoms. Following harvest, yield was determined and the tubers were rated or measured for appearance, shape, specific gravity, and french fry color. The TPS hybrids had mean values for all tuber and foliar traits, except plant height, that were not significantly different from those of one or more of the cultivars; generally, values for the hybrids fell amid those of the cultivars. Two of the hybrids were taller on average than any of the four cultivars. In contrast to the means, trait uniformity of the TPS hybrids was consistently less than for the cultivars. For all foliar traits, except plant height, the TPS hybrids were substantially less uniform than the standard cultivars. For specific gravity and french fry color, two important processing quality traits, the hybrids tended to be less uniform than the cultivars; however, the difference was much less pronounced than for the foliar traits. Four of the hybrids were not significantly less uniform than one or more of the cultivars for french fry color and seven were not less uniform for specific gravity. For many market uses, the TPS hybrids appeared to have the tuber yield and quality characteristics needed to compete with standard clonally propagated cultivars.

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