Delivering a sustainable potato industry for Scotland through management of PCN

Project Lead: Ian Toth
Host Institution: The James Hutton Institute, SRUC, Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Soil Essentials, Scottish Agronomy, SASA
Project Date: 12 August 2021 to 31 March 2026
Reference Number:
Potato Alexey_Hulsov Pixabay
Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) is a threat to the Scottish seed potato and bulb industries: SASA estimates that 15% of the area regularly planted with potatoes in Scotland is now infested with PCN, with an estimated increase in spread of 5% per year. If this spread is not controlled, in 25-30 years there could potentially be no suitable land left for seed potato or bulb production.

Recently, following a working group on PCN, a report entitled ‘Potato cyst nematode (PCN) and the future of potato production in Scotland’ was submitted to Scottish Government highlighting the PCN problem in detail and outlining practical recommendations for its reduction.

Scottish Government agreed to fund in full the recommendations in the report and this project will aim to:
• develop resistance markers to PCN to inform breeding programs,
• introduce diploid breeding strategies to generate PCN resistant varieties relevant to the Scottish fresh potato market,
• improve the understanding of the mechanisms of PCN tolerance in potatoes,
• methods of groundkeeper control and management,
• novel and improved IPM tools for PCN management,
• create a decision support tool for PCN control in Scotland, building upon the AHDB’s PCN calculator
Publication Type (field_publication_type)
Centre Director
Institution: The James Hutton Institute
Sector Lead: Agriculture
Institution: Scotland’s Rural College
Institution: Scottish Potatoes
Institution: Soil Essentials
Institution: Scottish Agronomy
Institution: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
Senior Nematologist
Institution: SASA