The Contribution of the Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project to Potato Breeding
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Potato variety development in the USA involves extensive interaction between public sector scientists and state and national grower organizations to test and commercialize new varieties. Historically, breeding and germplasm development efforts have relied upon phenotypic evaluations to select and advance germplasm. The goal of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project (SolCAP) was to translate genomic resources into tools that can be used by breeders and geneticists. A major outcome of this project was the development of a genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array that can be used to evaluate elite potato breeding germplasm. This array was utilized to genotype numerous biparental tetraploid and diploid populations, a diversity panel, and a core collection of Solanum species. The SNP array provides a marker density sufficient to generate genetic maps to identify numerous quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for agronomic, quality, and disease resistance traits. Many new diploid and tetraploid genetic maps have been constructed and used to identify numerous QTLs for important traits. We used SNP markers to assess relationships among germplasm, fingerprint varieties, and identify candidate genes. The Infinium 8303 Potato Array provides a common set of SNP markers that can reliably be used for mapping, germplasm assessment, and fingerprinting. This array has also been a useful tool to advance our understanding of the potato genome. Furthermore, breeders are mapping QTLs across numerous populations that will expand our understanding of economically important traits and lead to marker-assisted selection and breeding, and ultimately improved varieties.
KeywordsBreeding Genetic maps Quantitative trait loci Single nucleotide polymorphism Translational genomics
The SolCAP project was supported by funds from the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genome grant 2009-85606-05673 to D.S.D.
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