Defender potato makes fries, foils late blight

Those delicious, golden fries you've enjoyed recently may have come from a potato called Defender. This excellent potato is the offspring of two parent potatoes chosen in 1990 by prominent Agricultural Research Service potato breeder Joseph J. Pavek.

This potato has held the attention of ARS potato breeders and their university colleagues for more than a decade. These scientists were making sure — in outdoor and laboratory tests — that this promising potato would not only be ideal for processing into perfect fries, but also would resist attack by Phytophthora infestans, the fungus-like organism that causes late blight — one of the worst disease of potatoes worldwide.

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