, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 83-111

Insect resistance in potatoes: sources, evolutionary relationships, morphological and chemical defenses, and ecogeographical associations

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Summary

The past 25 years, 1686 potato accessions, representing 100 species in the genus Solanum L., subgenus Potatoe, section Petota, were evaluated for field resistance to one or more of the following insect pests: green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer); potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas); Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say); potato flea beetle, Epitrix cucumeris (Harris); and potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris). Accessions highly resistant to green peach aphid were identified within 36 species, to potato aphid within 24 species, to Colorado potato beetle within 10 species, to potato flea beetle within 25 species, and to potato leafhopper within 39 species. Resistance levels were characteristic within Solanum species. Insect resistance appears to be a primitive trait in wild potatoes. Susceptibility was most common in the primitive and cultivated Tuberosa. Insect resistance was also characteristic of the most advanced species. The glycoalkaloid tomatine was associated with field resistance to Colorado potato beetle and potato leafhopper. Other glycoalkaloids were not associated with field resistance at the species level. Dense hairs were associated with resistance to green peach aphid, potato flea beetle, and potato leafhopper. Glandular trichomes were associated with field resistance to Colorado potato beetle, potato flea beetle, and potato leafhopper. Significant correlations between insect score and altitude of original collection were observed in six of thirteen species. Species from hot and arid areas were associated with resistance to Colorado potato beetle, potato flea beetle, and potato leafhopper. Species from cool or moist areas tended to be resistant to potato aphid.