Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) Testing of Potatoes

Potato plant - BlacklegIn addition to the DUS test, new varieties of some species of economically important plant species are also required to undergo Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) Testing before inclusion on the UK National List. Variety Testing at SASA, in conjunction with colleagues at NIAB in Cambridge, conduct VCU tests on potato candidates. Whereas DUS characteristics focus on morphological characteristics, VCU concentrates on agronomic characters - with an emphasis on resistance to diseases and defects important in potato production in the UK. 

VCU tests fall into four categories:

  • Yield
  • Factors in the physical environment – e.g. susceptibility to damage
  • Resistance to harmful organisms – e.g. Blackleg (see image), Common Scab or Leafroll
  • Quality – e.g. crisping / French-fry  quality

See Disease Testing and New Varieties pages or related links box for more information.