Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2010
Publication Date: 5/1/2010
Citation: Haynes, K.G., Clevidence, B.A., Rao, D.D., Vinyard, B.T., White, J.M. 2010. Genotype x environment interactions for potato tuber carotenoid content. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 135:250-258.
Interpretive Summary: Eating fruits and vegetables is important to human health. Carotenoids, which impart yellow, orange, or red color to many fruits and vegetables, are antioxidants. The carotenoids that predominate in yellow-fleshed potatoes have been shown to improve mental acuity, and reduce age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. We evaluated carotenoid content in numerous breeding lines in yellow-fleshed potatoes. The results show that the concentration of carotenoids in potatoes grown in Maine and Florida were similar. Some of the potatoes tested had higher levels of carotenoids than in current commercial varieties, thus affording breeders new opportunities to develop improved varieties. Because American consumers eat a lot of potatoes on a yearly basis, even small improvements in the nutritional content of potatoes have the potential to improve human health. This information will benefit breeders looking to improve the nutritional content of potatoes, nutritionists making dietary recommendations, and consumers seeking to eat healthier.
Technical Abstract: Consumption of carotenoid-containing foods can help promote human health. Although yellow-fleshed potatoes have a higher carotenoid content than white-fleshed potatoes, little is known about how growing environments may affect individual and total carotenoid content in different potato clones. The purposes of this study were to estimate the amount of genetic variability in potato for five xanthophyll carotenoids and their total, and determine the stability of these carotenoids across environments. Nine white- or yellow-fleshed tetraploid clones were grown in Maine and Florida for two years. Carotenoids were extracted in acetone and analyzed by HPLC. There were significant differences among clones for antheraxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and total carotenoid content. There were significant clone x environment interactions for violaxanthin, neoxanthin, antheraxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and total carotenoid. Broad-sense heritabilities (and their 95% confidence intervals) were 0.68 (0.14, 0.92) for violaxanthin, 0.51 (0.00, 0.88) for neoxanthin, 0.93 (0.87, 0.99) for antheraxanthin, 0.85 (0.70, 0.97) for lutein, 0.89 (0.79, 0.98) for zeaxanthin, and 0.96 (0.89, 0.99) for total carotenoid. Total carotenoid content ranged from 93 - 518 µg/100 g fresh weight. Total carotenoid content in four clones was significantly greater than in Yukon Gold: Peter Wilcox, B2319-1, B2333-5, and BTD0088-2. With genetic variation for individual and total carotenoid content in potatoes, improving the levels of carotenoids has been and should continue to be feasible, however, concentrations in a given clone are likely to vary in different environments.