Transforming diploid potato breeding by enhancing potato haploid induction

PI: Ek Han Tan, UMaine School of Biology and Ecology

Collaborators: Gregory Porter, UM School of Food and Agriculture and Kathy Haynes, US Department of Agriculture

Adopting a new, commercially viable variety of potato requires a complicated process that can take as long as two decades. Considering a rapidly changing climate, Dr. Tan feels that Maine needs a more efficient way of breeding new potato varieties. Diploid breeding is a simpler method that many potato breeders in the U.S. have begun to adopt, and this project proposes using RRF funds to implement diploid breeding at UMaine’s potato-breeding program, which currently uses conventional methods. Dr. Kathy Haynes, a collaborator in this project, is providing access to her diploid breeding lines in Maryland, which will allow Dr. Tan to establish preliminary data in an effort to secure external funding.