Greenland’s potatoes a cut above the rest

potatoesGreenland’s potato crops are so healthy that researchers are seriously studying whether there is something special mixed into the island’s soil. In particular, the mould that often attacks and destroys potato crops fails to do so in Greenland’s dirt.

These Greenlandic super potatoes apparently have something in them that prevents fungus disease like mould from destroying the crop. This has caught the interest of Danish scientists. The Politiken Sondag newspaper reports that potato farmers from Denmark and countless other countries frequently battle mould that kills the young shoots or retards the growth and quality of the potatoes.

Researchers have wondered for years why Greenland’s potatoes are so healthy, and they are finally making headway. “We have established that there is mould present in the earth in Greenland that is of the same kind as that in Denmark. At the same time, we have found bacteria that is not present in Danish soil and which is thought to be especially suitable for Greenland’s climate conditions. The laboratory tests show that it releases substances that inhibit mould,” said microbiologist Peter Stougaard to Politiken.

Stougaard, an associate professor at the Department of Agriculture and Ecology at the University of Copenhagen, feels if they can identify the bacteria that inhibit the growth of mould it can be introduced into the soil of other cold growing areas such as Denmark and Alaska. This would allow everyone to produce super potatoes akin to those grown in Greenland.

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