Welcome to the potato crop portal that aims to guide you to the relevant information regarding the plant genetic resources of potato.

This portal consists of the following sections:

  1. 'PGR material' that provides information on genetic resources collections and links to commercial companies and is intended to help you finding material of your interest.
  2. 'Traits' that provides links to sources that have interesting evaluation data for a specific trait.
  3. Other information
  • Origin and taxonomy of potato species 
  • on-line variety lists
  • Miscellaneous

Potato: a vegetable, staple crop and industrial crop

The potato is the fourth world food crop after maize, rice and wheat (FAO , 2008). The potato produces more food (calories) per unit of water than any other major crop. Potato still is susceptible to a large number of diseases and pests, making it a large user of chemical inputs. There is a continuous need for new properties to improve the varieties. It is the only important crop in Europe that is vegetatively propagated, which raises particular problems in the genetic resources activities.

Phytosanitairy regulations

Bacteria and viruses cause several disease problems in the potato crop. Therefore most countries in the world have legislation to prevent the import and trade of diseased material, in particular for non-native diseases. For countries within the European Union, Council Directive 2000/29/EC  and its amendments are leading. It regulates for example the import of germplasm from outside the EU and demands quarantine and subsequent testing on Q-organisms.

For users e.g. from the US and the EU it is advisable to search for potato germplasm from collections respectively within the US and the EU first. Otherwise the germplasm import will have to go through the national quarantine station. European collections are obliged to follow the phytosanitairy regulations of the EU and will provide a Plant Passport together with the material within the EU.

Access and benefit sharing

Potato is on Annex 1 of the International Treaty  on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Collection holders (genebanks) that have put their accessions into the multilateral system will use the SMTA (Standard Material Transfer Agreement). Otherwise the samples may be provided unconditionally or access has to be negotiated under the conditions of the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity).

The germplasm

Cultivar collections are clonally maintained in field collections (provided as tuber) or in-vitro and rarely in-cryo (provided as plantlet). Wild species are mostly available as true seed. Some specific genotypes may be maintained clonally (in-vitro). Latin American landraces are often provided as true seed but may also be available clonally (mostly in-vitro).