Utilisation of the Commonwealth Potato Collection in potato breeding
- Cite this article as:
- Bradshaw, J.E. & Ramsay, G. Euphytica (2005) 146: 9. doi:10.1007/s10681-005-3881-4
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The use of the Commonwealth Potato Collection in potato breeding is set in the context of the evolution of the crop and the need to widen its genetic base by introgression and base broadening. The introduction of the potato to Europe and its subsequent worldwide spread is described. An introduction is given to the world's major potato genebanks, and the current status of the Commonwealth Potato Collection is presented. Material from this genebank has been extensively used to improve the potato. Work on wild species as sources of resistance to late blight started before the genebank was initiated, and since then CPC accessions have provided major R-genes and durable resistance to breeders, greatly benefiting growers and consumers of the potato. Progress identifying and exploiting resistance to viruses and potato cyst nematodes is described. New sources of further pest and disease resistance genes are present in the germplasm in the collection, offering the potential to overcome current and future pests and diseases. Use of the cultivated species in the collection for base broadening is described and discussed. The collection also harbours a wide range of quality traits of use to breeders, including variation for cooking and crisping, anthocyanins, carotenoids, ascorbate metabolism and others. As breeding and genetics become more precise, and as both the knowledge of biochemical pathways and means of analysing chemical composition advance, new ways of accessing this variation become possible. Possible strategies to achieve these goals are discussed.