Effects of Field Selection Parameters and Specific Gravity on Culinary Evaluation Traits in a Potato Breeding Programme

  • Jiazheng Yuan
  • Benoît BizimunguEmail author
  • Denise Leblanc
  • Martin Lague


Potato culinary evaluation is an integral component of a breeding programme to determine suitability of new cultivars to specific end-uses. In most breeding programmes, quality assessment is conducted after a few generations of field selection on tubers collected from the field or from storage conditions. In order to optimize selection procedures, we analysed the relationship between specific gravity of potato tubers and quality evaluation traits as well as the effects of field selection parameters in clones that are intended for fresh market and processing uses. A total number of 237 advanced breeding clones were analysed over three consecutive years in the potato breeding programme at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Principal component analysis (PCA) and linear mixed-effects model fit by maximum likelihood indicated that parameters used in field selection significantly contributed to specific gravity and culinary components. Specific gravity also contributed significantly to culinary traits related to acceptable quality of baked, boiled and French-fried products. However, such relationship was not observed for chip quality. Significant associations were found between field selection parameters, such as maturity, early vigour, top vigour, early harvest, tuber size and tuber appearance and culinary components related to French fry and chip quality, but not for quality of baked and boiled products. Broad-sense heritability estimates for various culinary evaluation traits ranged from 57 to 92%. The results suggest that specific gravity and culinary traits should be incorporated in early or intermediate generation selection parameters in order to optimize selection gains for specific end-uses.


Broad-sense heritability Culinary traits Field selection parameters Linear mixed model Principal component analysis Solanum tuberosum Specific gravity 



The authors would like to thank the potato breeding technical staff at the Fredericton Research and Development Centre of AAFC as well as staff at the Benton Ridge Breeding Substation for their assistance in field plots establishment and data collection.


  1. Bates B, Mächler M, Bolker MB, Walker CS (2015) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. J Stat Softw 65:1–51Google Scholar
  2. Bélanger G, Walsh JR, Richards JE, Milburn PH, Ziadi N (2002) Nitrogen fertilization and irrigation affects tuber characteristics of two potato cultivars. Am J Potato Res 79:269–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biedermann-Brem S, Noti A, Grob K, Imhof D, Bazzocco D, Pfefferle D (2003) How much reducing sugar may potatoes contain to avoid excessive acrylamide formation during roasting and baking? Eur Food Res Technol 217:369–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradshaw JE, Dale MBF, Mackay GR (2009) Improving the yield, processing quality and disease and pest resistance of potatoes by genotypic recurrent selection. Euphytica 170:215–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Camire EM, Kubow S, Donnelly DJ (2009) Potatoes and human health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 49:823–840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coffin RH, Yada RY, Parkin KL, Grodzinski B, Stanley DW (1987) Effect of low temperature storage on sugar concentrations and chip color of certain processing potato cultivars and selections. J Food Sci 52:639–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dale MFB, Mackay GR (1994) Inheritance of table and processing quality. In: Bradshaw JE, Mackay GR (eds) Potato Genetics. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Epskamp S, Cramer AOJ, Waldorp LJ, Schmittmann VD, Borsboom D (2012) Qgraph: network visualizations of relationships in psychometric data. J Stat Softw 48:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FAO (2018) World food and agriculture-statistical pocketbook 2018. RomeGoogle Scholar
  10. Gould WA (1999) Potato production, processing and technology. CTI Publications Inc, Arlington, pp 50–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haynes KG, Wilson DR (1991) Correlation of yield and specific gravity in a tetraploid potato tuberling population. Am J Potato Res 68:355–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Haynes KG, Webb RE, Goth RW, Wilson DR (1989) The correlation of yield and specific gravity in the USDA potato breeding program. Am J Potato Res 66:587–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henderson CR (1982) Analysis of covariance in the mixed model: higher-level, nonhomogeneous, and random regressions. Biometrics 38:623–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnson RA, Wichern WD (2007) Applied multivariate statistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnston FB, Kenkars E, Nunes AC (1970) Starch and dry matter content of 'Netted Gem' in relation to French fry texture. Am J Potato Res 47:87–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jolliffe IT (2002) Principal component analysis, Springer Series in Statistics, 2nd edn. Springer- Verlag, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirkman MA (2007) Global Markets for Processed Potato Products. In: Vreugdenhil D, Bradshaw JE, Gebhardt C, Govers F, MacKerron DFL, Taylor MA, Ross HA (eds) Potato biology and biotechnology advances and perspectives. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 27–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Louwes KM, Neele AEF (1987) Selection for chip quality and specific gravity of potato clones: possibilities for early generation selection. Potato Res 30:241–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. O’Sullivan J (1978) Effects of rotation and nitrogen on yield and quality of potatoes. Can J Plant Sci 58:475–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pereira AS, Tai GCC, Yada RY, Coffin RH, Sousa-Machado V (1994) Potential for improvement by selection for reducing sugar content after cold storage for three potato populations. Theor Appl Genet 88:678–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sayre RN, Nonaka M, Weaver ML (1975) French fry quality related to specific gravity and solids content variation among potato strips within the same tuber. Am J Potato Res 52:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shetty K (2013) Reviewing the procedure for specific gravity measurement of potato tubers. Kimberly Potato Storage Research Facility,
  23. Tai GCC, Coleman WK (1999) Genotype x environment interaction of potato chip colour. Can J Plant Sci 79:433–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tai GCC, Misener GC, Allaby ES, McMillan LP (1985) GRAV-O-TATER: a computer apparatus for measuring specific gravity. Am J Potato Res 62:403–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tarn TR, Tai GCC, De Jong H, Murphy AM, Seabrook EJA (1992) Breeding potatoes for long-day, temperate climates. In: Janick J (ed) Plant breeding reviews. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  26. Taylor MA, McDougall GJ, Stewart D (2007) Potato flavour and texture. In: Vreugdenhil D, Bradshaw JE, Gebhardt C, Govers F, MacKerron DKL, Taylor MA, Ross HA (eds) Potato biology and biotechnology: advances and perspectives. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 525–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Vu V, Lei J (2012) Minimax rates of estimation for sparse PCA in high dimensions. In: Lawrence N, Girolami M (eds) Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS). JMLR W&CP, La PalmaGoogle Scholar
  28. Wricke G, Weber WE (1986) Quantitative genetics and selection in plant breeding. Walter de Gruyter, New York, p 405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Yuan JZ, Murphy AM, De Koeyer D, Lague M, Bizimungu B (2016) Effectiveness of the field selection parameters on potato yield in Atlantic Canada. Can J Plant Sci 96:701–710Google Scholar
  30. Zhu F, Cai YZ, Ke J, Corke H (2010) Compositions of phenolic compounds, amino acids, and reducing sugars in commercial potato varieties and their effects on acrylamide formation. J Sci Food Agric 90:2254–2262CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiazheng Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Benoît Bizimungu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Denise Leblanc
    • 1
  • Martin Lague
    • 1
  1. 1.Fredericton Research and Development CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaFrederictonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesFayetteville State UniversityFayettevilleUSA

Personalised recommendations