AFLP data support the recognition of a new tuber-bearing Solanum species but are uninformative about its taxonomic relationships
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Solanum section Petota, containing the cultivated potato and its wild relatives, is a group of around 200 species. Many of these species are morphologically very variable with unclear boundaries, and the group as a whole appears to be somewhat over-classified. Describing a new species in this group should only be undertaken with caution, and molecular data can be used to test the distinctness of any putative new taxon. AFLP markers have shown the ability to reliably distinguish species in several groups within the genus Solanum. We tested the distinctness of a new tuber-bearing Solanum species using morphological and AFLP data, and tried to establish its affiliation to the series within the section. There was clear support for the species status of the material known as Solanum hannemanii in genebank collections, but the AFLP data were inconclusive about its relationships to the other investigated species. Also, the distinction of the series Tuberosa and Megistacroloba, to which these species belong, was not supported.
KeywordsAFLP Solanum section Petota New species Solanum hannemanii
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