Impact of Positive Selection on Incidence of Different Viruses During Multiple Generations of Potato Seed Tubers in Uganda

Uta Priegnitz*, Willemien J.M. Lommen, René A.A. van der Vlugt, Paul C. Struik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Smallholder farmers in Uganda commonly use seed potato tubers from the informal sector, especially by seed recycling over several generations. Therefore, seed tubers are highly degenerated with viruses and other pathogens, resulting in poor yield and quality of the produce. Over one cycle of multiplication, degeneration management by positive seed selection was found to be efficient in reducing virus diseases compared with the farmers’ method of selection. The objective of this study was to assess to what extent positive selection over several seasons can reduce six different virus incidences in seed lots of different starting quality in southwestern Uganda. Multi-seasonal trials were carried out in three locations, with five seed lots from four sources and three cultivars. Detection of viruses was based on DAS-ELISA and Luminex xMAP technology. Analysis was carried out with analysis of variance (ANOVA) on angular-transformed percentages of virus incidence. Results showed fluctuations in some viruses over seasons with lower Potato leafroll virus (PLRV) and Potato virus X (PVX) incidences in lots from positive selection compared with lots from farmers’ selection. In contrast, some seed lots were initially highly infected with Potato virus S (PVS) and Potato virus M (PVM) and showed no reduction in virus incidence through positive selection. In general, little infection with Potato virus Y (PVY) and Potato virus A (PVA) was found. Based on these results, it is recommended that smallholder farmers are trained in positive selection to opt for less virus-infected plants and tubers, thus increasing potato production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
JournalPotato Research
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Multi-seasonal trials
  • Positive selection
  • Seed degeneration
  • Seed potatoes
  • Seed regeneration
  • Uganda
  • Viruses


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