N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 POTATO GROWER 21 the company. Rien van Bruchum, crop manager of Bejo, received the delegates and lead the tour. He stated that the objec- tive of Bejo in developing hybrid (true) seed potato varieties is the demand in their vegetable seeds markets, where seed potatoes are in short supply. There is a lack of access to good quality seed potatoes. Their customers are accustomed to seeding and transplanting vegeta- bles. It would be helpful to provide enough true potato seed to allow them to add potatoes to their pro- duction and sales of vegetables. A reason for the visit of the UNECE delegates was the acceptance of a Bejo hybrid true seed potato variety, Oliver, for Plant Breeder’s Rights by the NAK Tuinbouw Certification Service in the Netherlands. NAK Tuinbouw is charged with Plant Breeders Rights in the Netherlands. In the Distinct, Uniform and Stable (DUS) trials, the Oliver progeny from true seed is considered suffi- ciently stable and uniform. The tubers were shown in a demonstra- tion field. The UNECE delegates agreed that there was uniformity in color and shape. There was less uni- formity in size. The DUS trial results were based on the production of the true seed. When the tubers are planted from this crop the popula- tion will segregate over generations, which is different from traditional varieties. For example, a small tuber from a traditional variety generally pro- duces larger tubers, because there are fewer eyes and stems, (unless the lack of size is caused by a virus). The small tuber from a hybrid, true seed crop, however, may be genetically inclined to produce small tubers. Oliver was developed by inbreeding (selfing) breeding lines and crossing two breeding lines. Selfing of tetraploids is difficult, but using diploids has not given any accept- able yields. Tetraploids have the ten- dency to create greater diversity in the population. A consideration to accept the results of the DUS trials for Oliver as a vari- ety under Plant Breeder’s Rights was the comparison with cross pollinat- ed rye grass seed. Oliver was a nov- elty and it was distinct. There was no reference material. It was suffi- ciently uniform as related to its propagation techniques as indicated under UPOV. As far as certification is concerned Rien van Bruchum would like to see the hybrid seed certified, because certification is often a requirement for import and/or a demand from the customer. He stated that they did not expect hybrid seed to be accepted in countries where the tra- ditional seed potato industry is established. “Bejo’s market exists of areas where customers for vegetable seed want to expand their crop choice by seeding and transplanting hybrid potato seed, when they have limited access to quality seed pota- toes”. The growing season for true seed is longer, which can be partly compensated by transplanting. However, Rien van Bruchum men- tioned that customers are asking for early varieties, because later varieties need more precious irrigation water. Protocols for accepting a variety from hybrid seed into a potato scheme will meet several challenges. Certification can accept a variety that is described as a production from hybrid true seed. However, there is a need to develop protocols to accept a variety for certification that will not remain uniform when the tubers are planted again. Disease pressure in these importing areas is generally high. Transplants in the field are more vulnerable, because they stay green longer. There may be little demand under high disease pressure to ever certify further progeny. More information will be needed before deciding whether the later progeny, that is planted tubers from a hybrid seed variety, can be made eligible for seed potato certification.