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Inheritance of early blight resistance in diploid potatoes


Early blight (Alternatia solani) is a fungal disease in hot and humid environments, which causes leaf, stem and tuber lesions. Early blight resistance should be incorporated into potato cultivars because the fungicide spraying is an expensive solution for developing countries. The diploid cultivated species Solanum tuberosum group Phureja and group Stenotomum are sources of resistance alleles. The elucidation of the inheritance for early blight resistance must help to decide what could be the best breeding procedure to improve this diploid germplasm and transfer the resistance to the tetraploid level. Three experiments were carried out under controlled and field conditions to determine the heritability of this trait using nested and diallel mating designs with haploid, species and haploid-species hybrids. The narrow-sense heritability estimates were relatively high (0.64–0.78). This means that additivity was the most important type of gene action for determining resistance to early blight at the diploid level. The results suggested that diploid parents showing highest levels of resistance, throughout the cycle of disease development, can be used in 4x×2x crosses to obtain resistant tetraploid progenies to this fungal disease.

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Correspondence to Rodomiro Ortiz.

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Ortiz, R., Martin, C., Iwanaga, M. et al. Inheritance of early blight resistance in diploid potatoes. Euphytica 71, 15–19 (1993).

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Key words

  • Alternaria solani
  • heritability
  • mating designs
  • Solanum tuberosum group Phureja
  • group Stenotomum