Potato blight

See: Phytophthora infestans. Potato viruses

In the eighteenth century, in England, a group of farmers decided to breed potatoes for resistance to the 'decline' of potato stocks. At this time, it was discovered that seed tubers coming from the Yorkshire Moors did not suffer this decline. This was a crucial parting of the ways. It was decided that importing clean seed tubers was easier than breeding for resistance. From that day to this, we have been controlling potato viruses by certifying seed tubers free of them. The potato viruses spread rather slowly and, for that reason, they rarely appear in plant breeders' screening populations. If one seedling became infected, it was thrown out on the grounds of susceptibility. But the clones that were kept were escapes from infection and they were just as susceptible. We have been losing horizontal resistance to these viruses during more than two centuries of potato breeding. As a consequence, this is a wonderful opportunity for amateur breeders . Powdery mildews See: Erysphales.

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