Cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), a vegetatively propagated autotetraploid, has been bred for distinct market classes including fresh market, pigmented, and processing varieties. Breeding efforts have relied on phenotypic selection of populations developed from intra- and inter-market class crosses and introgressions of wild and cultivated Solanum relatives. To retrospectively explore the effects of potato breeding at the genome level, we used 8,303 single nucleotide polymorphism markers to genotype a 250 line diversity panel composed of wild species, genetic stocks, and cultivated potato lines with release dates ranging from 1857 to 2011. Population structure analysis revealed four subpopulations within the panel, with cultivated potato lines grouping together and separate from wild Species and genetic Stocks. With pairwise kinship estimates clear separation between potato market classes was observed. Modern breeding efforts have scarcely changed the percentage of heterozygous loci or the frequency of homozygous, single dose, and duplex loci on a genome-level, despite concerted efforts by breeders. In contrast, clear selection in less than 50 years of breeding was observed for alleles in biosynthetic pathways important for market class-specific traits such as pigmentation and carbohydrate composition. While improvement and diversification for distinct market classes was observed through whole genome analysis of historic and current potato lines, an increased rate of gain from selection will be required to meet growing global food demands and challenges due to climate change. Understanding the genetic basis of diversification and trait improvement will allow for more rapid genome-guided improvement of potato in future breeding efforts.
- Received January 10, 2013.
- Accepted April 8, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013 Author et al.
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