Research project: Pottifrisk

POTTIFRISK - a research program for improved potato seed tuber quality through better disease control methods. With our storage sensors, 7Sense took part in the study by keeping track of temperature and relative humidity. Additionally, we provided labor for data analysis, practical installation tasks and funding.

Potatoes are the most important food crop with respect to first hand value in Norway. Diseases are a major constrain in potato production, leading to a significant reduction in yield and quality. Contaminated seed tubers are the most important source of inoculum for many potato diseases. Particularly challenging is the fact that many of the important pathogens can be difficult to detect as they give rise to symptomless (latent) infections. There is a great knowledge need in how to detect and control all of the potato diseases.

A first step towards management of plant diseases is appropriate identification and detection methods. Consequently, one of the major goals of the project is to develop / implement DNA based methods for rapid and sensitive detection and quantification of latent infection of bacteria and fungi in seed tubers. We will particularly focus our work on bacterial soft rot diseases, late blight, gangrene and skin blemish diseases such as silver scurf, skin spot and black dot. The target pathogens, selected in collaboration with Norwegian potato industry, are the ones currently causing most damage to Norwegian potato production. The development and implementation of methods to quantify infection in tubers will also give us a powerful tool for studying the epidemiology of these diseases. In addition, the methods will be used for testing the effect of potential control-measures and regime for using these, as well as different cultivation and storage strategies, whereas 7Sense took part in the latter

The project will be organized by Bioforsk and Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service with scientific support from leading international scientists in the area and is financially supported by a large part of the companies in the potato industry. The project aims at building knowledge on major potato diseases and methods to control them. This will help Norwegian potato production to answer significant challenges concerning increased import and a weaker production economy.

Funding source: Norwegian Research Council

Research period: 01.03.2015 - 28.02.2019