RE S EARCH The first DuRPh field trials are encouraging Not long ago, the results of the first field trials from the DuRPh research programme were made known. The programme involves tests whereby Wageningen scientists are looking at the possibilities of genetic modification in the fight against Phytophthora. Even though the first results are only the start of the programme, Anton Haverkort, the researcher and coordinator of the project is very hopeful about its continuation. A fter starting the Durable Resistance programme against Phytophthora (DuRPh) with the appropriate laboratory tests in 2006, we were able to carry out the first field trials in Wageningen and in De Krim last year. We selected three varieties for these trials: Aveka, Désirée and Première. We had used only one single gene against Phytophthora for these three varieties. We could not use more than one because first we had to gain experience in cloning, transformation and selection. In addition to the aforementioned field trial – in which we infect potato plants with Phytophthora – we also started a trial in which chemicals are used against Phytophthora. This is to check whether the new variant of the variety without Phytophthora remains exactly the same as the variety itself when fully grown. Moreover, we have also multiplied the material in jars in a gauze screen house , which will serve as seed next year. Plant breeder Ronald Hutten (left) during an excursion in July 2008 shows healthy new R-gene containing plants and infected plants of the original variety. Potato World 2009 • number 1 23 Pagina 22

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