The use of genes from wild potatoes is not new. Various resistance genes have been crossed into commercial varieties in the past. However, those resistances have been broken sooner or later due to the development of new varieties of late blight.
The DuRPh team is tracking new genes in wild potato cultivars. To ensure that the new resistances are not easily broken by late blight, the team works with cassettes: sets of smartly combined genes that are inserted at the right moment in the right cultivars. As the composition of flu vaccins changes annually, also these cassettes will be alternated regularly.
Moreover, the DuRPh team looks to the best possible use of different sets of resistance genes in space and time through a mix of field and simulation studies. The calculations are being conducted with variables such as distance between fields, field size, weather and disease control strategy. The most promising options are tested in multiple year field experiments.