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New era for Toolangi elite ...

9 Mar 2014 5:55 PM - Pathogen tested seed potatoes for high yield and quality

ViCSPA is pleased to announce the employment of Dr Daniel Isenegger as the new manager of Toolangi Elite and principal scientist. Toolangi Elite produces around 500,000 minitubers annually from pathogen tested tissue culture stocks. Dr Isenegger has extensive experience in tissue culture and plant pathology and brings with him an array of technologies which can be applied to the minituber production business. Our aim is to produce high quality minitubers for the Australian potato industry which are cost effective.

Daniel will manage a small team dedicated to tissue culture and minituber production at the Toolangi Research Station located in the Toolangi Plant Protection district.

New developments currently underway include the establishment of a DNA library of all potato cultivars held in the tissue culture collection. This DNA library will be used as a reference database to ensure cultivars are true to type and, if required, DNA can be used to provide confirmation of a potato cultivars identification. In addition, Dr Isenegger’s team are exploring technology to enhance the preservation of potato cultivars using cryopreservation whereby tissue culture material is stored in liquid nitrogen. Previous research conducted by Dr Isenegger has shown there is potential for potatoes cultivars to be stored using liquid nitrogen. If commercially successful this technology will significantly reduce the cost of maintaining collections of tissue culture stocks. Importantly, it also will provide the ability to secure potato cultivars which are not commercially produced, thereby providing a means to capture the genetic diversity of potato cultivars which may have application in future markets.

The Toolangi Elite business continues to adopt new technology and automation of processes to enhance the quality of minitubers produced and critically reduce the costs of production ensuring affordable products to industry.

Minitubers produced from pathogen tested tissue culture stocks underpin certified seed potato production in Australia which ultimately ensures commercial potato growers have access to certified seed that has potential for high yield and quality.

Contact daniel.isenegger@toolangielite.org.au

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