Back to overview

Wild potatoes in Bolivia, 1994

Collectors: D.M. Spooner and R.G. van den Berg


CGN participated in the joint Bolivia/United States/the Netherlands wild potato germplasm collecting expeditions in Bolivia, February - April, 1993, and January - February, 1994. The goals of the expeditions were to collect germplasm and gather data for taxonomic studies.

In 1994, 57 samples were collected, from which 33 only as tubers and 8 only as herbarium, due to the dry weather conditions in Bolivia. The tubers were brought to Germany in a poor physiological condition and health status. The German Plant Protection Service found several samples infected with South American diseases, which consequently had to be destroyed. A part of the other tuber samples did not sprout. So, much material was lost. Lessons learned: 1) don't go collecting in dry years and 2) don't bring tubers, but leave them in the country of origin for true seed multiplication.

In 'Documents' you will find a report and a publication describing the details of the two expeditions. Collecting forms have not been used, the collecting data were stored on a laptop. Longitude & latitude were recorded by GPS, altitude by an altimeter. Lon/Lat data suffer some inaccuracy, due to deliberate changes by the US military, equivalent to about 100 meters of distance. This "Selective Availability" was turned off in 2000. The map shows the accessions collected in 1994.