While potatoes grown from tubers or seed potatoes produce and exact genetic clone of the mother plant, those grown from true potato seed are not clones and will have different characteristics than the parent plant.
True potato seed is most often used by plant breeders to facilitate hybridization and fruit production. Potatoes grown on commercial farms are hybrids selected for their disease resistance or high yields that can only be passed on through “seed potato.” This assures the grower that the desired qualities of the hybrid are passed down. It is, however, possible to grow potatoes from true potato seed. It is wise to use heirloom potato varieties, as potato seed pods from hybrids will not produce good quality spuds. To grow potatoes from true potato seed, the separation of the seeds from the rest of the fruit is a must. First, gently mashing the berries, and then placed in water and let sit for three or four days. This mix will begin to ferment. The resulting floating fermentation should be poured off. Viable seeds will sink to the bottom and should then be rinsed well and allowed to dry on a paper towel. Seeds can then be labeled and saved in a cool dry place until planting season. The seeds should be started indoors in the winter since plants started from seed take longer to develop than those started from tubers.