Arctic Bank of Healthy Potato Varieties: Yamal experts are breeding virus-free seed stock
Researchers in Salekhard are implementing a major scientific and technological project, the Arctic Bank of Healthy Potato Varieties. This year, they planted 300 seeds of a hundred locally bred varieties in protected ground. All the plants have sprouted and are growing well.
Scientists at the Tyumen Scientific Center and Yamal specialists have been breeding virus-free seeds at the Yamal experimental station since last year.
“This means that by the 2023 season, we will have more varieties to study and test with outdoor growing. At this stage of the project, we are breeding the first generation,” says Nikolai Renev, a researcher at the potato breeding laboratory of the Tyumen Scientific Center.
By 2024, according to the scientists, they will be able to breed a variety that is best suited for Yamal and other northern regions. The plan is to put high-end Yamal-bred seed stock on the Russian market in 2025.
“This is Yamal’s contribution to making Russian agricultural producers independent from foreign suppliers of seeds,” said Maxim Maksimchik, director of the Yamal experimental station.
According to Maksimchik, Arctic soil is a natural testing ground for producing potato seeds that are resistant to pests, viruses and soil diseases. Yamal seeds are perfect not only for the northern regions, but also for central Russia.