FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is potato breeding dangerous?

No, potato breeding is not dangerous. The methods we apply have been safely developed over many years for all manner of crops. These new developments ensure that they can be processed more quickly, in accordance with the demands of the changing environment; think, for example, of disease or climate change. Furthermore, hybrid potato breeding does not use genetic manipulation; the potatoes are cultivated from different potatoes.

Why is hybrid potato breeding so important?

One significant advantage of this process is that it is quicker and easier to adapt to the development of new varieties. This can, for example, have enormous advantages when it comes to better resistance to a specific disease. The advantages could be so great that these new varieties will ultimately replace all of our existing potato varieties. This might sound extreme, but experience with other crops has shown that better versions make it on to the market in around five years.

Do your methods include any kind of genetic manipulation?

No, our methods are completely free of genetic manipulation. Genetic manipulation is when genetic material from other species are injected into a product. Hybrid breeding is a completely different approach. Inbreeding means two diploid potatoes with two identical sets of chromosomes are cultivated, after which they are crossbred.

Why is it so important that the simple potato needs further development?

After maize, corn and rice, the potato is the most important source of food for the world’s population. In addition to this, the potato is relatively healthy and requires little water, especially in comparison to the other large crops. In a world with an ever-growing population, the potato can well be expected to play an important role in the food chain. Through the technology that Aardevo is developing, the evolution of the potato is expected to come thick and fast. The potato will become better, stronger and more resistant in the coming decades, which will only serve to strengthen the potential of this plant.

Why is this being developed in the Netherlands?

Aardevo knows that innovation is the key to a successful future. In order to fully support the innovative process, many factors need to be taken into consideration. The Netherlands has everything we need, in spades! There is an excellent infrastructure and a highly skilled workforce on hand. We also have extensive experience in agriculture, with plenty of excellent farmers and growers with whom we can work. In short, all the ingredients we need to promote our unique development programme.

Why has this technique not been considered before, if it’s already available?

The technique of hybrid breeding has been adapted too many other global crops. The reason that no-one has tried it with potatoes yet is due to the complex nature of the potato itself. The potato is a tetraploid; this means that the potato has four chromosomes, each with the same genetic information. So when they are crossbred, the number of potential variations that may arise is considerable. For a long time, techniques and knowledge weren’t far enough along to manage the entire process of hybrid breeding. Recently, progress has been made, enabled by inbreeding diploid potatoes, to produce homozygous diploid potatoes. This means that two sets of chromosomes are identical, making the result of the crossbreeding much more predictable. This discovery has left the doors wide open for the further development of the process.

Are farmers supportive of Aardevo’s efforts?

At the moment, this varies from farmer to grower. Some farmers see this research as flash-in-the-pan and pay it no mind whereas other farmers are closely following every step of the development process. The main thing, however, is that the developments are not seen as a threat.

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A Revolution in the World of the Potato

Our emphasis remains primarily on Research & Development. Aardevo knows that innovation is the key to future-proof crops.

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A Green Process

It goes without saying that the hybrid breeding of diploid potatoes is no simple process, but luckily enough, it’s fairly easy to explain.

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Working on the Breakthrough

Our entire team is motivated by the knowledge that they are contributing to a revolution in the world of the potato, providing a unique opportunity for those with a passion for plants.