The white potato became established in Europe and North America as an important crop during a 200 year period beginning in the mid 16th Century. The potato was first introduced to Europe from South America, either from the northern Andes as Solanum tuberosum gp. andigena (short day adapted), or from southern Chile as Solanum tuberosum gp. tuberosum (long day adapted) and the earliest descriptions are of what appear to be mixed genotypes (Salaman, 1949). From about 1550 to 1750, the potato was selected and adapted to the long day conditions of summer in the higher latitudes of Europe. By the late 1700s, distinct cultivars were recognized, and attempts were being made to improve the crop through cultivar selection. Problems with Potato leafroll virus genus Polerovirus, (PLRV) and Potato virus Y genus Potyvirus, (PVY) infection called “curl” induced the early breeders to select new clones with less symptoms and higher yields. Even though they did not really understand the cause of curl, they were quite adept at applied breeding, growing small populations from botanical seed, and then selecting the best seedlings. Cultivars, like White Kidney, Manly, and Lumper, to name a few from Great Britain and Ireland, came to be grown on a large scale, and there was less cultivar diversity than is present in more recent years in Europe (Salaman, 1949).


Late Blight Potato Variety Tobacco Rattle Virus Virus Reaction Ranger Russet 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis L. Corsini
    • 1
  • Charles R. Brown
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA Agricultural Research ServiceUniversity of Idaho, Research and Extension CenterAberdeenUSA
  2. 2.USDA Agricultural Research ServiceWashington State UniversityProsserUSA

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