True Potato Seeds

The new technology helping small-scale farmers grow profitable potatoes.

Unlocking the Power of the Potato

Traditionally, growers have produced potatoes using seed potato tubers, rather than true botanical seeds, but seed potato tubers are bulky and logistically challenging. When tubers are not appropriately certified, they can also be contaminated with diseases and highly perishable. Today, a revolution in potato breeding is here in the form of true potato seeds (TPS).

RegenZ, in collaboration with Solynta, is trialling several true potato seed varieties in South African growing conditions. The best performing varieties will become commercially available in the near future.

One of the main benefits of growing potatoes from true seed is the simplified, low-cost logistics:

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2,500kg

Potato seed tubers needed to plant 1 hectare

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25g

True potato seeds needed to plant 1 hectare

What are

True Potato Seeds?

Potato seeds are unreliable, which is why most potatoes are grown from potato seed tubers.

However, new technology is enabling potato seeds to produce predictable and consistent offspring. 

DNA carries the genes which dictate a potato’s characteristics. With hybrid true potato seed, genetic variety is reduced to allow the production of a standard product with only the desirable traits. This means that stable potatoes can be grown from seed, not only from seed tubers.

The Problems… and the Potential of Potatoes

The world’s population is increasing, and climate change is making it harder than ever for farmers to grow good food crops. The humble potato has the potential to help solve these problems. Potatoes are cheaper, healthier, more nutritious and more water-efficient than many other staple crops. So, why isn’t the world fuelling on potatoes?

  • Unlike most other crops, potatoes can only be grown using bulky, perishable, disease-susceptible seed tubers
  • Potatoes have a complex genetic structure and are thus difficult to optimise through breeding
  • Potatoes are highly susceptible to diseases

However, RegenZ has access to new breeding technology that will help to solve these problems: namely, true potato seeds.

Benefits of True Potato Seed

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Planting

25 Grams of HTPS potato seed is needed versus 2,500 KGS of potato-seed-tubers to plant 1 hectare.

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Quality Assurance

HTPS is clean and disease-free versus potentially diseased and contaminated potato-seed-tubers.

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Storage and Transport

Simple, low-cost and environmentally sustainable transport and storage.

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Lifespan

Years of storage is possible with hybrid true potato seeds while potato-seed-tubers are highly perishable.

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Growth Capacity

New varieties using hybrid true potato seeds can be ramped up to commercial quantities 500 times faster than traditional potato-seed-tubers.

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Improved Predictability

Hybrid breeding delivers a predictable and continuous flow of improved products while historically traditional potato breeding has made limited advancement in the last century.

Our True Potato Seed Production Partner

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We are collaborating with Solynta to trial and develop TPS in Southern Africa. Solynta leads the potato breeding world with innovative hybrid potato breeding technology. The company develops hybrid potato varieties with superior traits and performance faster than traditional breeding.
We are excited by the revolutionary applications this technology can bring.

Here’s Why True Potato Seeds are Perfect for Small-Scale Growers

This table compares potato seeds tubers to true seed potatoes: 

Seed TubersTrue Seeds
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Huge volumes (2,500kg per hectare) Only 25g of seed per hectare
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8-10 years to bulk up to commercial quantities 2 years to bulk up to commercial quantities
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Disease contamination increases every generation No diseases
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High transportation and storage costs Low transportation and storage costs
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Highly perishable Low perishability
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Inefficiencies and losses due to forecasting errors Effective planning across the supply chain
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Enquire About TPS in Southern Africa

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Frequently Asked Questions

True potato seeds are the seeds harvested from potato fruits. The potato seed pod or berry is referred to as a “true potato seed”.

Potato plants produce small green fruits about the size of a cherry tomato. They are filled with hundreds of potato seeds.

A seed potato is actually a tuber, not a seed. A true potato seed (TPS) is an actual seed from the fruit of the potato plant. 


You can learn more about seed potatoes in our comprehensive guide.

Potatoes can be grown from true potato seeds collected from the berries of the potato plant. However, this is generally not commercially viable since it’s not as reliable as growing potatoes from seed potato tubers. Every seedling grown from true potato seed is genetically unique. This means that they will produce tubers with different characteristics to the parent, which is indesirable for commercial farmers. In addition, most modern potato varieties are either poor at forming seeds, partly sterile, or both.

However, with new technology that breeds hybrid potato seeds, we can combine existing varieties of potato, using beneficial potato traits from one variety and putting them to use in another variety to breed varieties that have better taste, improved disease resistance or higher nutritional value.

The innovative development of HTPS breeding has numerous advantages over the current potato selection process. Hybrid potato breeding allows for quicker crop improvement, thus reducing pesticide use and increasing the crop’s overall sustainability. 

 

  • Increase speed of innovation
  • Increase phytosanitary security
  • Increase yields 
  • Broaden and speed up the availability of better food to the world
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Fight malnutrition
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