Developing pale cyst nematode resistant potatoes

Researchers at the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are working to develop potatoes resistant to the pale cyst nematode, a pest that reduces potato production by 80 percent.

Researchers have been testing the efficacy of using Solanum sisymbriifolium

Researchers have been testing the efficacy of using Solanum sisymbriifolium (also known as litichi tomato or sticky nightshade) as a non-host trap crop to help eliminate PCN in eastern Idaho.  Results have been promising. 

Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, Potato Cropping Weed Scientist, University of Idaho

Pale Cyst Nematode Field Tour

The 2017 Snake River Pest Management Tour, sponsored by the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, provides an update on work to control and eradicate the pale cyst nematode. It was presented to potato growers and the community in southern Idaho in the summer of 2017. Presenters include Pamela J.S. Hutchinson, UI; Tina Gresham, USDA-APHIS; and UI graduate students Jn Bertrand Contina and Cole Harder. 

Tina Gresham, Director of the USDA-APHIS Pale Cyst Nematode Program, was among the speakers at the Snake River Pest Management Tour.

Pale Cyst Nematode in Idaho: A Grower’s Perspective

In 2006, pale cyst nematode (PCN) was detected in potato fields near Shelley, Idaho.  Searle Farms eventually had fields quarantined and regulated because of PCN infestation.  Owner-grower, Bryan Searle recounts the economic challenges, as well as the social impact he encountered as a result. 

Presented at Potato Association of American (PAA) 2018 Symposium ‘Impact of Quarantined Pests on the Potato Industry,’ Boise, ID. July 2018.