Scientists from McGill University are looking for ways to improve the resilience and nutritional quality of potatoes. The research team led by Professor Martina Strömvik has created a potato super pangenome to identify genetic traits that can help produce the next super potato.
Strömvik and her team assembled the genome sequences of nearly 300 varieties of potatoes and their wild relatives to develop a more nutritious, disease-free, and weather-proof crop. To build the potato super pangenome, they used supercomputers to crunch data from public databanks, including gene banks in Canada, the United States, and Peru.
According to the researchers, the pangenome can be used to answer many questions about the evolution of the potato, an important crop that was domesticated by Indigenous peoples in the mountains of southern Peru nearly 10,000 years ago. It could also be used to help identify specific genes to create a super spud using traditional breeding or gene editing technology.

(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications.