Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2001
Publication Date: December 15, 2001
Citation: BROWN, C.R., WROLSTAD, R., CLEVIDENCE, B.A. GENETIC VARIATION IN POTATO WITH HIGH LEVELS OF RED AND BLUE ANTHOCYANINS. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POTATO RESEARCH. 78:146. 2001. Technical Abstract: It is customary to think of potato flesh as either white or various degrees of yellow, reflecting qualitative and quantitative variation of xanthophylls in the flesh. Red and blue colors in the tuber flesh are due to another class of compounds, the anthocyanins. The total anthocyanin content of red and blue fleshed potato ranged from 5 to 35 mg/100 g fresh weight. As a dried preparation anthocyanin content falls between strawberries and raspberries. Red pigmented potatoes contained predominantly acylated pelargonidin glycosides comprising about 80% of the total, while blue-fleshed potatoes contained these compounds and, in addition, acylated petunidin glycosides in a 2 to 1 ratio of the former to the latter. Segregation ratios confirmed the single gene control of presence and absence of either blue or red pigmentation in the skin, and the flesh. The extent of pigmentation in the flesh appeared to be under polygenic control. Solidly pigmented potatoes displayed two to three times higher antioxidant potential than white-fleshed potato, placing high- anthocyanin potato in the range of other vegetables of reputed high antioxidant potentials such as kale and broccoli. Antioxidant food supplements have been implicated in benefiting cardiovascular health, preventing certain types of cancers, and retarding macular degeneration of the retina. Potato offers a vehicle to substantially increase consumption of antioxidants especially in snack foods. These potatoes provide a new health-promoting market for potato.