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History and Origin of Russet Burbank (Netted Gem) a Sport of Burbank.

Bethke, P.C., Nassar, A.M.K., Kubow, S., Leclerc, Y., Li, X.-Q., Haroon, M., Molen, T.A., Bamberg, J., Martin, M., and Donnelly, D.J. (2014). "History and Origin of Russet Burbank (Netted Gem) a Sport of Burbank.", American Journal of Potato Research. doi : 10.1007/s12230-014-9397-5  Access to full text


The importance of Russet Burbank, the world’s foremost French fry processing cultivar, requires a complete description of its origin. Its maternal lineage included Rough Purple Chili, Garnet Chili, Early Rose, and Burbank. An incorrect but widely disseminated account attributes the origin of Russet Burbank to Colorado potato grower Lou D. Sweet, with 1914 often given as the date of introduction. However, it is likely that Russet Burbank was originally released in 1902 as May’s Netted Gem by L. L. May & Co. (St. Paul MN). The names Netted Gem and Russet Burbank were used synonymously for many decades. Isoenzyme, multiplex PCR, and SNP data confirm Russet Burbank as a mutation of Burbank and do not support a seedling origin. Russet Burbank was found to be similar to Burbank in processing and nutritional characteristics. A goal of this effort is that descriptions of Russet Burbank’s lineage and origins will be corrected by seed companies in lists of potato varieties and at world repositories holding Russet Burbank and its progenitors.

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