Summary of The New Potato

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

The New Potato summary

Editorial Rating



The ubiquitous potato, a worldwide food staple, suffers from climate change and growing human populations. As developing countries increasingly depend on tubers for nutrition security, researchers work to develop strains resistant to drought, heat, disease and bug infestations. The lengthy process includes a mix of traditional breeding and genetic manipulation. Scientists cross standard varieties with wild potatoes containing desirable new traits, often discovered in remote locations. Can potatoes contribute to solving world hunger?

About the Author

Erik Stokstad is a reporter for Science magazine, covering environmental issues and research.


More than a billion people use potatoes as a food staple, but demand exceeds supply in some regions.

World demand for potatoes continues to grow because they are nutritious, versatile and can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling. However, climate change has made it difficult for many people to grow potatoes.

Developing countries such as Uzbekistan and Bangladesh increasingly depend upon tubers as an important food source, but creating hardy new varieties that yield sufficient harvests takes more than a decade.

Potato breeding requires collecting wild species in remote corners of the world.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Research on Research
Hacking the Code of Life
Buzz, Sting, Bite
Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience
Our Final Warning
The Unnatural World
First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in the United States

Related Channels