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University of Idaho to grow nuclear potato seed program

Matt Roth, left, the new greenhouse manager for the University of Idaho’s nuclear potato seed program, and the program’s manager, Jenny Durrin, work on mini-tuber production. Durrin was recently hired and Roth was recently made full-time, and UI has plans to expand the program’s production.   University of Idaho has hired a new director for its nuclear seed potato program and plans to build additional facilities to help her expand production. The planned investments; which include construction of a new greenhouse and laboratory; would move the university toward its long-term goal of becoming a national repository for potato germplasm. Jenny Durrin filled the director position vacated when Lorie Ewing retired last July. She conducted research in potato virus Y resistance in common Idaho cultivars while obtaining her masters degree in plant science under UI virologist Alex Karasev, and she spent two years studying pale cyst nematode at the university. UI also promoted a part-time worker, Matt Roth, to be the program’s full-time greenhouse manager. The self-sufficient nuclear seed program maintains more than 300 potato crosses; including experimental lines, public and private varieties and the Potato Variety Management Institute’s entire collection. Capital Press report

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