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Alta Russet


Denomination: 'Alta Russet'
Botanical Name: Solanum tuberosum
Applicant/Holder: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge
Lethbridge Research Centre, 5403 - 1 Avenue, South
P.O. Box 3000
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1J 4B1
Breeder: Dermot Lynch, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta
Agent in Canada: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization
107 Science Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 0X2
Tel: (306) 385-9316
Application Date: 2003-04-11(priority claimed)
Application Number: 03-3558
Protective direction granted: 2003-04-11
Grant of Rights Date: 2004-08-27
Certificate Number: 1882
Date rights surrendered: 2020-08-27

Variety Description

Varieties used for comparison: 'Russet Burbank' and 'Russet Norkotah'

Summary: 'Alta Russet' has anthocyanin colouration on the stems and flower buds, whereas it is absent in the reference varieties. 'Alta Russet' has a blue-violet flower colour while both reference varieties have white flowers. The tuber of 'Alta Russet' is oval in shape. 'Russet Burbank' and 'Russet Norkotah' both have long tubers.


'Alta Russet' has an erect growth habit and produces an intermediate type plant which is short in height. The stem has weak anthocyanin colouration and is medium in thickness. The stem wings are conspicuous and straight single. The stem nodes have slight swelling and have no anthocyanin colouration. 'Alta Russet' produces many branches.

'Alta Russet' has medium green leaves with pubescence on the lower surface. The leaf silhouette is medium. The leaf rachis has no anthocyanin colouration. There is pubescence on the top and bottom of the leaf rachis. The petiole has no anthocyanin and the stipules are medium in size. The terminal leaflet is medium ovate in shape with an acuminate shaped tip and truncate base which is asymmetrical. The margin has weak waviness. There are four pairs of primary leaflets which are medium in size. The primary leaflets are medium ovate in shape with an acuminate shaped tip and asymmetrical, truncate base.

'Alta Russet' has a low flowering profusion and produces a low number of florets per inflorescence. The flower bud has high anthocyanin colouration and the buds are persistent. The flowers are blue-violet in colour with weak anthocyanin colouration on the inner side and anthocyanin present on the outer side. The corolla is medium in size with a very prominent star. The calyx and peduncle have strong anthocyanin. The anthers are bright yellow in colour and arranged in a broad cone shape. The stigma is capitate in shape and dark green in colour. Berry production is low.

The tuber has brown skin with no secondary colour. The skin texture is russetted and the tuber shape is oval. The tuber eyes are shallow in depth, intermediate in number and are evenly distributed. The tuber eyebrows are not prominent. The flesh is white in colour with no secondary colour. There are a medium number of tubers per plant.

The light sprout is ovoid in shape. The base has weak pubescence and moderate, blue-violet anthocyanin colouration. The tip habit is closed. The tip has medium pubescence and is green, with no anthocyanin colouration. There are a medium number of light sprout root initials and the protrusion of lenticels is moderate. The length of the lateral shoots is medium.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Alta Russet' originated from a cross made at the Lethbridge Research Centre of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in 1987. The female parent was 'Russet Nugget' and the male parent was 'Ranger Russet'. 'Russet Nugget' is resistant to common scab, PLRV induced net necrosis, Verticillium wilt, early blight, hollow heart and blackspot bruise. 'Ranger Russet' is resistant to PVY, PVX, hollow heart and "sugar end" but susceptible to blackspot bruise. The first four field generations of selection occurred at the Vauxhall Research substation with subsequent evaluation in the Western Canadian Regional Potato trials. The variety was tested under the experimental designation V0266-8.

Tests & Trials: Tests and trials for 'Alta Russet' were conducted at Vauxhall, Alberta in 2003. The trials consisted of 30 metre rows of each variety. The plants within each row were planted 30cm apart, and the spacing between the rows was 90cm. Measured characteristics were based on 50 measurements.

Comparison tables for 'Alta Russet' with reference varieties 'Russet Burbank' and 'Russet Norkotah'

Colour of corolla (RHS)

  'Alta Russet' 'Russet Burbank' 'Russet Norkotah'
inner surface 84D 155D 155D

Tuber length (mm)

  'Alta Russet' 'Russet Burbank' 'Russet Norkotah'
mean 82.5 120.9 100.3
std. deviation 12.9 24.4 17.0

Tuber width (mm)

  'Alta Russet' 'Russet Burbank' 'Russet Norkotah'
mean 62.8 53.5 57.4
std. deviation 6.0 6.1 6.8

Tuber thickness (mm)

  'Alta Russet' 'Russet Burbank' 'Russet Norkotah'
mean 53.1 45.7 49.3
std. deviation 5.3 6.1 5.9
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