Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture Series
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The United States potato genebank is the only collection of wild potato species held in the United States. These collections are maintained because they are of great value to be used as breeding stock to improve the yield, disease resistances, and processing qualities of our commercial cultivars. A herbarium is a collection of pressed and dried plants needed to verify the identity of these collections for scientific studies of the collection. This paper describes the origin, size, and holdings of the United States potato genebank. Because of recent work in the herbarium, there are now herbarium sheets for most of the nearly 5000 living wild potato collections.
Technical Abstract: The United States Potato Introduction Station Herbarium at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin (PTIS) serves the National Research Support Program-6 (NRSP-6; formerly known as the Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Project, IR-1). NRSP-6 is part of the United States germplasm system, and is the sole genebank for wild and cultivated potatoes in the United States. The genebank and herbarium are devoted entirely to wild and cultivated potatoes (Solanum section Petota). NRSP-6 is charged with the introduction, preservation, classification, evaluation, and distribution of potato germplasm worldwide. NRSP-6 currently maintains 4,308 accessions of 146 species of sect. Petota; 3584 of these have at least one herbarium voucher. In total, 14,270 sheets are maintained, incorporating duplicates, and vouchers of collection not represented by germplasm. NRSP-6 currently has photographs of 105 holotype or isotype collections of 85 names of taxa of sect. Petota; long-term plans are to expand this to a photographic collection of all nomenclatural types. An extensive collection of topographic and road maps and gazetteers of Latin America are maintained at the herbarium in Sturgeon Bay.