Farmers Weekly published an article in December discussing PCN and breeding for resistance where our GPS breeding programme was mentioned. 

Speaking to Farmers Weekly is E Park & Sons agronomist Peter Blaylock:


"The fresh sector is still searching for a commercial breakthrough that has robust resistance to G pallida, but this is certainly not from lack of effort from breeders, according to E Park & Sons agronomist Peter Blaylock.

The Doncaster-based potato packer and producer is a stakeholder in the GPS (Grampian Parks Skea) breeding programme, which includes Scottish commercial partners Grampian Growers and Skea Organics.

Using commercially successful varieties with known G pallida resistance and crossing with genetic material from the James Hutton Institute, the group is searching for fresh varieties with resistance to G pallida or ideally, dual resistance to both G pallida and G rostochiensis.

GPS has many clones in trials across Britain and for the first time this year, the Netherlands. They also have larger plots of more advanced selections and varieties, tested on different sites.

In 2018, these included an encouraging salad variety with dual resistance and several other potential table varieties that could help fresh growers manage PCN.

“I think breeders have really woken up and responded well to the pallida problem, but it has to be remembered that using traditional breeding methods, it takes about 12 years for a variety to come to fruition, so it’s no easy task.

“I think there will soon be wholesale opportunities for fresh growers to use dual resistance, which will be a big step forward,” explains Mr Blaylock."