Viruses in Finnish potato production (PERVIRLÄHDE)


Economical losses caused by viruses in plant production can be minimized using healthy planting material and removing wild host plants of viruses from proximity of the cultivation. Potato virus Y (PVY) is tested yearly by the traditional ELISA assay in pre-basic and basic seed potatoes by Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira. In addition, certain viruses defined in legislation are tested in the first field generation of pre-basic and basic seed grown from Finnish nuclear stocks. There is, however, limited information about the prevalence of viruses in later generations of pre-basic and basic seed potatoes, other seed and table potato production or in wild plants in Finland.

This project aims to map viruses in the whole Finnish seed potato and potato production chain, and also in wild plants growing in proximity of the seed potato crops, using a new generic virus detection method based on analysis of virus-derived small-RNAs.

This method allows simultaneous detection of all known and new viruses in a sample. The results will be used to re-assess national seed potato legislation and develop methods and practices to control viruses in potato production more efficiently.


small RNA, siRNA, virus, viroid, potato

Responsible project leader:

Jari Valkonen, Professor, D.Sc. (Agriculture & Forestry), University of Helsinki

Person at Evira responsible for the project:

Johanna Santala, Special Researcher, D.Sc. (Agriculture & Forestry)

In cooperation with:

University of Helsinki;
companies in the seed potato business

Project status:

In progress

Year of commencement:


Year of completion:


Project financing by:

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (576/03.01.02/2017);
Myllymäen Peruna;
Finnish Seed Potato Centre Ltd (SPK);
HZPC Kantaperuna