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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory

Title: Early generation selection at multiple locations may identify potato parents that produce more widely adapted progency

item Haynes, Kathleen
item Gergela, D
item Hutchinson, C
item Yencho, G
item Clough, M
item Henninger, M
item Halseth, D
item Sandsted, E
item Porter, G
item Ocaya, P

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Publication URL:
Citation: Haynes, K.G., Gergela, D.M., Hutchinson, C.M., Yencho, G.C., Clough, Henninger, M.R., Halseth, D.E., Sandsted, E., Porter, G.A., Ocaya, P.C. 2012. Early Generation Selection at Multiple Locations may Identify Potato Parents that produce more widely adapted Progency. Euphytica. 186:573-583.

Interpretive Summary: Potatoes are grown over a wide range of environments in the eastern U.S., all the way from Maine to Florida. In potato breeding programs, selections in the early stage of the program are made at the breeding location. Only later in the program are surviving clones evaluated elsewhere, by which time little of the original population remains. In this study we modified selection procedures to allow six locations to evaluate the same set of selections very early in the breeding program and did this for three years. Compared with the normal breeding scheme, we found that 27% to 70% of the selections saved at three or more locations would not have been saved by the breeding program. This represents a loss of future potentially broadly-adapted cultivars. We were also able to identify parents that produced broadly-adapted offspring. This study suggests that selections should be more widely evaluated earlier in the breeding program. Doing so would allow breeders to identify better parents earlier. This information will be useful to potato breeders in refining their breeding strategies to make them more efficient.

Technical Abstract: Potato production in the eastern U.S. occurs over a wide range of environments from Maine to Florida; many of these states do not have a breeding program. Initial selections are usually made at the breeding location for more than two years before undergoing evaluation elsewhere, at which point, few clones remain from the original population. The purpose of this study was to determine if parents that produce progeny with broad adaptation could be identified early in the USDA/ARS Potato Breeding Program. For three years (2007-2009), seed of all second-field-generation clones was distributed to five locations for selection. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, selections were made among 339, 321, and 381 clones, respectively. For each parent in each year, chi-square values were calculated from the observed and expected number of progeny selected. Each year, parents that produced poorly- or broadly-adapted offspring were identified. Among the progeny selected at three or more locations, 27% to 70% had not been selected by the breeding program. Early-generation selection can be used to identify parents that produce broadly-adapted progeny and may identify broadly-adapted progeny before they are discarded by the breeding program. Because potatoes display such strong genotype x environment interactions, this selection approach may be particularly beneficial for selecting potato cultivars with broad adaptation.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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