Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285282

Title: Traditional breeding and cultivar development (potato)

item Novy, Richard - Rich

Submitted to: The Potato: Botany, Production, and Uses
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2014
Publication Date: 12/17/2014
Citation: Novy, R.G. 2014. Traditional breeding and cultivar development. In:Navarre, R., Pavek, M., editors. The Potato: Botany, Production, and Uses. 1st edition. Boston, MA:CAB International (CABI). p. 272-289.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript represents a chapter of the book: “The Potato: Botany, Production, and Uses”. This chapter details the history of potato breeding and cultivar development and unique attributes of potato that must be taken into consideration for its genetic improvement. Emerging issue of importance in potato breeding are also discussed as well as established and newer methodologies that are used in potato breeding and cultivar development.

Technical Abstract: Traditional breeding allows for the genetic ‘reshuffling’ of genes and their recombination into new genotypes that may carry the desired assemblage of resistance and agronomic traits necessary for release as a new cultivar. While molecular biology techniques can be useful for improving upon a weakness in a cultivar, such as improving resistance to blackspot bruise and cold-induced sweetening, such technology cannot currently be used in the development of a wholly new cultivar due to the inability to pyramid all the necessary traits required by industry, many of which are quantitative with no clear understanding of the genes involved in their expression. Traditional breeding therefore remains the primary source of new potato cultivars, with a greater acceptance and adoption of them by the potato industry. For example, while Russet Burbank is still the predominant potato cultivar grown in the U.S., that cultivar has seen its acreage steadily replaced by newer cultivars. For potato breeders, greater efficiencies in the development and mapping of molecular markers and the recent completion of the sequencing of the potato genome hold promise in providing insights into gene expression and interactions in potato —especially useful in this tetraploid crop with its complex genetics. Marker assisted selection in potato breeding will also likely expand beyond its current use with monogenic traits to also encompass polygenic traits such as yield, and tuber starch and sugar content.. It is an exciting time for the potato breeding community, with many new technologies having the potential to improve breeding efficiencies.