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Expression of internal reproductive barriers in a germplasm bank accession of the wild potato Solanum chacoense Bitter in three ex situ regeneration cycles

Abstract

Wild potatoes (Solanum sp.) are important reservoirs of desirable genes for potato breeding. Most of them are diploid and obligate outcrossers, with both sexual and asexual reproduction. Samples of natural populations are ex situ conserved as accessions in germplasm banks for basic and applied ends, and are regenerated when seed number, seed viability or both decrease. The possible action of within accession internal reproductive barriers is not considered in the current seed regeneration protocols, in which 20 to 25 plants are cultivated for the crossing work. Notwithstanding, the effective number of progenitors (Ne) in every seed regeneration cycle might be reduced in relation to the real number (N) of plants if internal reproductive barriers were acting; this process can eventually lead to gene erosion. To ascertain if Ne = N in seed regeneration of one randomly provided accession of S. chacoense Bitter, pollen viability and size, plus pollen-pistil relationships and number and type (according to endosperm development) of seeds/fruit were studied, respectively, at the individual plant and genotypic combination levels. Two types of barriers, pre-zygotic (pollen-pistil self- and cross-incompatibility) and post-zygotic (male sterility and inviability and weakness of F1 hybrids) were detected in three growing seasons, indicating that not all genotypes in this accession made an equal allele contribution to the next generation. These results should be an alert for germplasm bank curators of wild potatoes and other crop wild relatives. Since the objective of germplasm banks is the ex situ maintenance of the natural genetic diversity, strategies need to be devised based on genetic premises.

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Acknowledgements

To Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) for providing infrastructure and financial support.

Funding

This study was partially funded by Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA; PNHFA-1106074), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP; AGR 344/11) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET; first author’s scholarship).

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Correspondence to Elsa Lucila Camadro.

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Authors Poulsen Hornum Anabela and Elsa Lucila Camadro declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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This paper is part of a thesis by Anabela Poulsen Hornum in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor’s degree, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina.

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Poulsen Hornum, A., Camadro, E.L. Expression of internal reproductive barriers in a germplasm bank accession of the wild potato Solanum chacoense Bitter in three ex situ regeneration cycles. Genet Resour Crop Evol 68, 915–938 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-020-01034-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-020-01034-y

Keywords

  • Effective number of progenitors
  • Germplasm bank collections
  • Parental genetic contribution
  • Reproductive barriers
  • Wild potatoes