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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF POTATO GENETIC RESOURCES Title: Effects of the pesticide furadan on traits associated with reproduction in wild potato species

Authors
item Del Rio, A -
item Bamberg, John
item Centeno-Diaz, C -
item Salas, A -
item Roco, W -
item Tay, D -

Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 24, 2012
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Citation: Del Rio, A.H., Bamberg, J.B., Centeno-Diaz, C., Salas, A., Roco, W., Tay, D. 2012. Effects of the pesticide furadan on traits associated with reproduction in wild potato species. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 3:1608-1612.

Interpretive Summary: Wild potato populations in nature are the backups for the samples kept in genebanks for research and breeding that lead to an improved potato crop. Some of these wild potato species are known to grow naturally in close proximity to cultivated fields in Latin America, thus are potentially impacted by human activity, including exposure to pesticides. We found that wild potatoes known to grow in or near pesticide-treated fields in central Peru had significantly less flowering and pollen production when samples were intentionally exposed to the pesticide in greenhouse conditions. We now have preliminary evidence that these natural populations near farmers’ fields may be more at risk than others. This evidence justifies more focused work to see what other chemicals might be having measurable reproductive impact, and if it is actually threatening the genetics of the populations, what steps should be taken to protect them.

Technical Abstract: Wild potato populations in nature are the backups for diversity held in genebanks for research and breeding. Some potato species are known to grow in close proximity to cultivated fields, thus are potentially impacted by human activity, including exposure to pesticides. The present study examined the effect of a common pesticide on reproductive traits of potatoes known to grow in or near pesticide-treated fields in central Peru. Furadan® 4F, an insecticide – nematicide (common name = carbofuran) was applied at two different rates to populations representing 15 wild potato species in a greenhouse environment in Peru. Flowering duration of these populations was usually significantly reduced in comparison to a water control, and in a few cases, percent viable pollen also was. These findings suggest that agrichemicals may be having unintentional effects on wild potato populations in ways that could compromise their genetic diversity.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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