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R417 Potato Genome

Publication Date: 
22 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Glen Bryan

Contractor :
James Hutton Institute (JHI) (formerly SCRI)

Reference :

Reference number: 

Full Research Project Title: Sequencing the 'gene space' of potato chromosome IV, comparative analysis with tomato and development of a gene-based mapping platform
Duration: October 2008 - September 2011

Aim: A project funded by Defra, AHDB Potatoes, Scottish Government and BBSRC to support the British component of the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium.

Industry Challenge

The genome sequence could provide the information to improve the dietary and commercial qualities of the potato, through the identification of genes controlling quality, appearance, nutritional value etc.

Commercial growers can be applying up to 20 fungicide sprays per season to control disease, and the UK potato crop currently consumes half of the total irrigation water used. Through identification of candidate genes for biotic and abiotic stress resistance the potato genome sequence has the potential to provide solutions to these issues and may help to minimise the environmental impact and mitigate the effects of climate change.


James Hutton Institute (JHI) formerly SCRI, University of Dundee


The Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC) is an international collaboration and aims to determine the sequencing of the 'gene-rich' regions of the potato genome by the end of 2010. The UK will only be sequencing chromosome IV. The potato genome is very similar to tomato (also a member of the Solanaceae) and as the UK is also sequencing tomato chromosome IV, this will enable highly detailed comparative sequence analysis of these two crop species. Moreover, by studying gene and genome sequence data a 'genetic marker' system can be created based on small DNA variations between different varieties. This will allow the examination of a large number of genes and the variation between varieties with different characteristics.

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