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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Breeding Studies in Potatoes Containing High Concentrations of Anthocyanins

Authors
item Brown, Charles
item Wrolstad, R - OREGON STATE UNIV
item Durst, R - OREGON STATE UNIV
item Yang, Ching Pa
item Clevidence, Beverly

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 7, 2003
Publication Date: August 11, 2003
Citation: BROWN, C.R., WROLSTAD, R., DURST, R., YANG, C., CLEVIDENCE, B.A. BREEDING STUDIES IN POTATOES CONTAINING HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF ANTHOCYANINS. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POTATO RESEARCH. 2003. 80:241-250.

Interpretive Summary: The potato that the American populace is used to eating is a white fleshed vegetable. However, within the natural variation of potato available from its center of origin are potatoes with red and blue pigments. Plant breeders are able to produce red and blue fleshed cultivars. At first this may seem like little more than a novelty. However, the red and blue pigments are active antioxidants, chemicals that can counteract heart disease, cancer, and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population of the US. This study examines the results of breeding studies to obtain red and blue fleshed potato, the concentration of pigment, identity of the components and the level of antioxidant in a selected group. Overall the idea of eating potato to increase the intake of antioxidants in the diet is appealing. Per capita Americans eat about a 100 pounds of potato annually. Although Americans are not accustomed to eating red or blue potatoes, it is possible to develop new snackfoods, and traditional dishes, like mashed potatoes with these new colors by advertising their enhanced nutritional properties. It is relatively easy to breed new varieties. As this study amply demonstrates, there are many genetic lines to choose from. Developing new blue and red flesh varieties will provide the raw material for new market and processed products, while giving the general population a new reason to eat potato: as a health food.

Technical Abstract: Studies of the breeding behavior of clones containing high levels of anthocyanins were conducted. Red flesh clones appeared in proportions suggesting multigenic control of degree of pigmentation. Red flesh and purple flesh clones were always accompanied by red and purple skin, respectively. Red flesh ranged from partial pigmentation to complete pigmentation represented by pigment present in all tuber tissues. Percentage of completely red flesh progeny was 14.5 and 4.1 percent in red x red crosses versus red x white (or the reciprocal), respectively. Purple flesh progeny were obtained from red x white crosses where the white flesh parent harbored the P pigment gene in juxtaposition with the nulliplex recessive state of the I gene (i.e., iiii) which suppressed expression. Total anthocyanin ranged from 6.9 to 35 mg per 100 g FW in the red flesh and 5.5 to 17.1 in the purple flesh clones. Red flesh clones contained predominantly acylated glycosides of pelargonidin while the purple flesh clones contained predominantly acylated glycosides of petunidin and pelargonidin. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and Ferrous Reducing Ability of Plasma revealed that the antioxidant levels in the red or purple flesh potatoes were two to three times higher than white flesh potato.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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