Plant of the Month - January - Potato

1st January, 2020

Artist

The January artist is: Karen Green
Social media: @karengreenart

Karen Green is a botanical and watercolour artist from Gloucestershire, find out more: https://www.karengreenart.com/about

Why did we pick it?

Potatoes are the most important non-cereal crop in the world, but they've vulnerable to a changing climate - heat stops them growing and flooding stops them being harvested - as well as diseases like potato blight.

UKRI funded research has looked at:
* the impacts of recent weather on crops and how we breed potatoes that can handle changing temperature, protecting both the UK's crop and allowing them to be grown in warmer countries
* developing potatoes that are resistant to late blight, reducing the number of crops lost to disease

Potato extras:

As part of UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI) Transforming Food Production (TFP) challenge, Lincoln-based B-hive Innovations Ltd and Shropshire’s Harper Adams University have been awarded £391,000 for the development of their Tuberscan project, which aims to use ground-penetrating radar to improve the level of crop knowledge and management of potato crops before they are harvested.
https://www.ukri.org/innovation/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund/transforming-food-production/what-lies-beneath-improving-potato-yield-forecasting-and-crop-management/

A potato modified to resist the devastating disease ‘late blight’ has proven a brilliant success, says BBSRC-funded scientists based at Norwich Research Park.
The team, led by Professor Jonathan Jones and part of BBSRC’s Horticulture and Potato Initiative (HAPI), have introduced a blight-resistant gene from a wild potato to its close relative, the popular Maris Piper.
Read more: https://bbsrc.ukri.org/news/food-security/2017/171027-pr-technology-becomes-blight-of-potato-fungus/

https://www.ukri.org/news/ingenious-innovations-to-help-transform-uk-farming/

STFC - Potato-powered cosmos
https://stfc.ukri.org/news-events-and-publications/publications/uk-news-from-cern/uknfc81/#five

Update on story in weblink #6 http://www.tsl.ac.uk/news/gm-potato-trials-point-blight-resistant-crops-future/