Potato Disease Detection Funded – for Aug. 12, 2010

A Quebec firm working on DNA-based disease detection and monitoring for potatoes will get $1.2 million in federal backing.

Phytodata Inc. said it’s partnering with McCain Foods Canada to develop such detection systems. The federal funding will go toward work on new and “highly reliable” ways to monitor and detect major airborne diseases in potatoes, grapes and hothouse tomatoes, reducing the need for pesticides.

Phytodata president Luc Brodeur said the funding will allow his firm to develop expertise “unmatched in the world” in detecting potato late blight, among other diseases.

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