Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019


Plant Pathology and Microbiology

First Major Professor

Dr. Mark Gleason

Second Major Professor

Dr. Ellen Mullen


Master of Science (MS)


Seed Technology and Business


Unlike traditional true seed, potato seed is a vegetatively propagated crop. A potato tuber can be uncut (single drop), cut once, twice or in some cases, three times. These seed pieces are then treated with some fungicide or pesticide, covered in a protective coating and planted into the ground. Starting with a healthy mother plant that produces daughter tubers for cutting is important because those characteristics exhibited in the mother plant will also be exhibited within the daughter tubers. For this reason there are many factors that should go into choosing the right quality of seed to utilize for commercial production. After some research, four main characteristics that affect the quality of potato seed have been determined: physiological age, seed genetics, size and seed health. These four characteristics can have a substantial effect on the vigor, health and overall outcome of a crop. These characteristics should be considered when purchasing seed to ensure growers are buying high-quality seed. Purchasing certified seed plays a large role in the seed health aspect and there will be a brief discussion on seed certification programs. The intent of this manual is to describe the importance of potato seed quality, explore the process of potato seed production from the seed grower to the commercial grower, and to define the characteristics of high-quality potato seed.

Copyright Owner

Merk, Emily M.

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