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Researchers explore genome of wild and cultivated potatoes

The study has created a map that may speed up the development of new varieties
“This work will be a fantastic source of information for potato geneticists and breeders and will provide a very rich source of data that will facilitate diploid hybrid breeding."

An international research team featuring the James Hutton Institute has shed further light on the evolution and biology of potato as a genetically complex global food crop.

Most commercially grown potato varieties are tetraploids, which means they possess four sets of chromosomes. Potato varieties that are diploid – with just two sets of chromosomes – are less complex to breed and have the potential to revolutionise future potato breeding and production.

The team, led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, explored the genome evolution and diversity of 24 wild and 20 cultivated diploid potato varieties, and created a map of significant genetic traits that may help breeders accelerate the development of new varieties.

Dr Glenn Bryan, a potato geneticist at the James Hutton Institute’s Cell and Molecular Sciences group and a co-author of the study, said: “This work really gives a ‘pan genome’ view across a diverse set of diploid potatoes that span the domestication timeline of this important global food crop.

“This work will be a fantastic source of information for potato geneticists and breeders and will provide a very rich source of data that will facilitate diploid hybrid breeding."

The study, entitled Genome evolution and diversity of wild and cultivated potatoes, is in the latest issue of Nature.

Paper: Tang, D., Jia, Y., Zhang, J. et al. Genome evolution and diversity of wild and cultivated potatoes. Nature (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04822-x

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Printed from /news/researchers-explore-genome-wild-and-cultivated-potatoes on 25/06/22 02:50:01 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.