1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
This project will combine physiological and genetic expertise and infrastructure to create a rational core collection and dataset for Solanum microdontum. This species, although wild, is remarkable for its broad expression for economically important tuber traits and ease of introgression into cultivars. The goal is to characterize for physiological tuber traits, and assess the patterns of phenotypes and genetics and the interaction of the two. This will allow for the more efficient management of this species in the genebank, and its deployment for cultivar breeding.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Grow all populations in the genebank to produce replicate sets of tubers. Assess for the physiological traits. Assess genetic variation patterns by AFLP and/or other markers. Perform statistical analysis of link between physiological traits and genetics clusters. Thus, identify and validate core collection and identify specific markers for germplasm screening. Preserve outstanding germplasm, facilitate use by ploidy manipulation, and advertise to germplasm users.
Using The Wild Potato Species S. microdontum. Good progress was made this year in detecting traits with breeding value in this close relative of potato. Tuber samples of over 90 populations were generated and tested for several important traits in Sturgeon Bay and Madison, Wisconsin. Wide variation was documented for the ability to resist greening under light, resistance to tuber rot caused by fungus, resistance to tuber rot caused by bacteria and total protein. Samples were preserved for future analysis of minerals and antioxidants. The progress of the project was monitored by email and phone contacts at least once per week. Using this species to breed improved potatoes could have a great potential impact on society by reducing pesticide use and improving the nutritional quality. The pattern of useful traits found among these populations also provide insights into how to best preserve them in the genebank.