Cultivar Formation

The biological formation of a new cultivar of potato is easy because this crop is cultivated as a clone, propagated by tubers. However, the tubers emerging from a breeding program will be either infected or contaminated with pests and pathogens, including virus diseases. In the industrial countries, potato seed legislation will usually demand propagating material shown to be free of many specified pests and pathogens. In practice, this usually necessitates a technique called 'meristem culture', in which new plants are produced from parasite-free 'stem' cells. This is not a technique for amateur breeders, and it would normally be undertaken by the registering authority.

These days, cultivar identification is usually done by DNA-fingerprinting, and this process also is undertaken by the registering authority.

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