Selection, evaluation, and identification of improved Russet Norkotah strains

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Strain (sub-clonal, line, or intraclonal) selection for certain characteristics within some potato varieties has been very successful e.g. improved skin type (Russet Burbank from Burbank), improved skin color (Red LaSoda from LaSoda; Red Norland and Dark Red Norland from Norland), and improved vine vigor and yield (Norgold Russet M from Norgold Russet). In 1989, strain selection with Russet Norkotah was initiated by the Texas Potato Variety Development Program. Some 192 giant hill and/or tall type plants were selected from seedsmen and/or commercial Russet Norkotah fields in Colorado, while 183 were selected from commercial fields in Texas. Replicated yield trials with the final 13 of the original strain selections and Russet Norkotah were conducted in 1992, 1993, and 1994 in both Colorado and Texas. A mixed model analysis of variance was performed followed by disjoint cluster analysis in order to group strains into high, medium, and low yielding classes or clusters. Canonical discriminant analysis was performed to confirm the three clusters and to determine the extent to which various yield attributes are related and can be used to separate the three clusters. Several strains including TXNS (Texas Norkotah Strain) 112, TXNS 134, and TXNS 278 were identified as superior in Colorado, while TXNS 223, TXNS 249, and TXNS 296 were similarly identified for Texas growing conditions. These strains usually outyielded Russet Norkotah by 20-30%.

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