Fertile Solanum tuberosum+S. commersonii somatic hybrids as sources of resistance to bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum
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- Laferriere, L., Helgeson, J. & Allen, C. Theor Appl Genet (1999) 98: 1272. doi:10.1007/s001220051193
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The wild potato relative Solanum commersonii is reported to carry resistance to bacterial wilt disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. To overcome sexual incompatibilites due to differences in ploidy and endosperm balance numbers, somatic hybrids were made that combine the S. tuberosum and S. commersonii genomes. The resulting somatic hybrid plants are vigorous, but their disease resistance level and their fertility was unknown. We therefore tested the S. commersonii and S. tuberosum source material cv Superior, potato cv Atlantic and six somatic hybrid lines for resistance to a virulent strain of R. solanacearum (race 3, biovar 2) at 28°C. As expected, S. commersonii was significantly more wilt-resistant than the cultivated potatoes. In five of the six somatic hybrid lines, disease resistance levels were similar to that of the resistant S. commersonii parent. The resistance level of the sixth somatic hybrid was intermediate, significantly different from both S. commersonii and S. tuberosum. In controlled crosses, the somatic hybrids in this study proved both to be male- and female-fertile and were self-compatible. More importantly, the somatic hybrids can be crossed with S. tuberosum to produce viable seeds.