A group of scientists from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and
scale-up Solynta, the inventor of hybrid potato breeding, have published the
most complete genome sequence for potatoes to date. Both sequence and plant
material are now available for research (under specific conditions), and
this significant effort may result in a potato that is more resistant to
heat or drought or has a greater resistance to diseases. The plant,
Solyntus, was produced through Solynta's potato breeding program.
The recent research used a diploid real potato plant with only one genome,
which makes it easier to read and compare the DNA base sequence. Richard
Visser, professor at WUR's department of Plant Breeding is enthusiastic
about the new sequence. He said, "The previously available genome sequence,
which I also helped establish, consisted of approximately 125,000 small
segments. The genome we are presenting now comprises 185 large segments."
Visser adds that the new genome is a significant improvement that was
achieved via a combination of unique plant material and new sequencing and
analysis techniques. He also said that while the previous sequence involved
a wild variety of potato, the new research used an actual potato plant.