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It is not possible to preserve potato varieties using true seeds without changing their characteristics. Instead, NordGen preserves potatoes as living plants (clones) in test tubes.

Potatoes grown from true seeds (sexual reproduction) become specimens that genetically differ from the original variety that you wish to preserve. To retain the unique traits of the varieties, potatoes are propagated vegetatively in the field, however, this means that virus diseases can be passed on from year to year with infected tubers. That’s the reason to NordGen preserving our potato varieties as clones.

A collage showing potatoes in different colors and a hand with a plastic glove holding a test tube with a green plant inside.

The clones are stored and handled in our in vitro laboratory. When the clones become old, a part of each plant is transferred to a new test tube. The clones are stored in a climate chamber at 15° C. The conditions are sterile to keep the material free of diseases.

NordGen stores 95 potato varieties from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Our collection contains modern varieties, breeding lines and landraces. The entire potato collection is also backed up at another location.

Potato requests

NordGen distributes potato clones to researchers and other customers who request to use the material.  To order in vitro-plants, please visit the page potato requests.