GPS clones to make significant impact in the UK Potato Industry

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E Park & Sons Ltd in collaboration with GPS / JHI Ltd could make a significant impact in the UK potato industry with PCN tolerant white table potatoes that now get a double resistance boost!

The new product development collaboration between the ‘GPS’ partners Grampian Growers, E Park & Sons Ltd and Skea Organics coupled with The James Hutton Institute Ltd have made some final selections to take new clones forward towards commercial production. National Listing of these new clones are scheduled to begin in 2021

Pip Blaylock our company agronomist at E Park & Sons Ltd has overseen the English farm trials since 2016. These trials have enabled the new resistant clones to be effectively screened for optimal tolerance against potato cyst nematode (PCN).

2020-21 trial work went ahead despite under COVID 19 rules and subsequent lockdowns. These trials have turned out as the most significant in the whole series since 2016 identifying potentially top-class table potatoes for the UK growers.

Pippa explains, ‘We as GPS/JHI Ltd were at a critical moment’.

‘The M5 selections had to be honed even further selecting for the very best tolerance traits to beat current levels of tolerance in Globodera pallida susceptible potatoes’.

‘However, we knew we already had genetic markers for broad resistance against Globodera pallida and Globodera rostochiensis in our new clones’.

‘Crucially, our farmers and growers require robust varieties that reduces multiplication of cysts and yet must be very tolerant to produce excellent yields, quality and return on investment’.

‘Only the very best selections will outshine offerings from other UK breeders’.

‘We now have clones that produce an excellent fresh table or baking potato with a far better economic return to the farmer in the broadest sense’.

Pip Blaylock also outlined possible future strategies, methods and agronomy practices that would offer a sound building block to help create a full ICM programme for growers using ‘bundled options’ and sequential plantings of these new clones.

Significantly however; the new GPS ‘double resistor’ clone contains a gene from one of the more desirable variants of the two well-known genetic sources breeders use to transfer G pallida resistance.

Pip concludes, ‘This means that GPS can build a three crop pull push sequence based around the ‘dual purpose’ market that is currently strongly occupied by Maris Piper’.

We at E Park & Sons Ltd believe this new clone can be placed in our traditional fresh, table, ware and also chipping sectors because it can mash, bake and crucially fry too’. ‘This will benefit our growers by offering a wider market appeal as does Maris Piper but with significant advantages and benefits in ICM PCN control’.


© Pippa Jayne Blaylock   November 2020


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