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University of Idaho could partner with Peru potato center

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Posted at 9:01 AM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 11:03:22-04

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) -- University of Idaho officials are negotiating a deal with the International Potato Center in Peru in hopes of getting access to the center's vast potato gene bank.

Officials say the more than 4,000 potato varieties that include potatoes cultivated in the Andes thousands of years ago could help solve modern day problems such as late blight or a pest called potato cyst nematode.

The Capital Press reports the school would share scientific expertise as part of the deal.

Discussions started last year after two school officials visited the center on a trade mission facilitated by Idaho Governot "Butch" Otter.

University of Idaho plant science professor Mike Thornton says the partnership could enhance the school's potato breeding efforts.

It's not clear when an agreement might be signed.