Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2012
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Citation: Haynes, K.G., Yencho, G.C., Clough, M.E., Henninger, M.R., Sterrett, S.B. 2012. Genetic variation for potato tuber micronutrient content and implications for biofortification of potatoes to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. American Journal of Potato Research. 89:192-198.
Interpretive Summary: Many people worldwide suffer from a deficiency of micronutrients in their diet. These micronutrients are essential for healthy growth and development. Since potatoes are a widely consumed vegetable, increasing the amount of copper, iron, manganese and zinc in potatoes may help to reduce these micronutrient deficiencies. In this study we determined that variability for these four micronutrients exist in potatoes and that it would be possible to increase the levels of these micronutrients through breeding. This information can be used by scientists involved in improving the nutritional value of potato and in recommending dietary sources of micronutrients to the public.
Micronutrients are crucial to healthy growth and development, yet a large proportion of the world’s population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortification of staple foods has tremendous potential to alleviate these deficiencies. Potato production in developing countries is increasing rapidly, and therefore, biofortification of potatoes for essential micronutrients may be feasible. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of genetic variation for micronutrient content in potato germplasm. Eighteen potato clones, consisting of ‘Atlantic’ and 17 4x-2x hybrids between S. tuberosum and diploid hybrids of S. phureja-S. stenotomum, were grown in three locations (NC, VA, NJ) two years (2001, 2002). Samples of tuber tissue were analyzed for copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn). There were significant differences among clones for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Clone x environment interactions were significant for Cu and Zn. Broad-sense heritability and its 95% confidence interval for Cu was 0.65 (0.50-0.89); Fe was 0.49 (0.27 – 0.84); Mn was 0.84 (0.82 – 0.96); and Zn was 0.82 (0.73 – 0.94). Genetic variation for these three micronutrients is large, suggesting that the micronutrient content of potatoes can be improved through breeding. This information can be used by breeders and geneticists involved in improving the nutritional value of potato, and by nutritionists in recommending dietary sources of micronutrients to the public.