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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Origins, Evolution, and Cultivar-Group Classification of Cultivated Potatoes

Authors
item Spooner, David
item Hetterscheid, Wilbert - WAGENINGEN UNIV NETHER

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2005
Publication Date: August 18, 2005
Citation: Spooner, D.M., Hetterscheid, W. 2005. Origins, evolution, and cultivar-group classification of cultivated potatoes. Book Chapter. p.

Interpretive Summary: Cultivated potatoes clearly had their origins in South America where there occur wild (non-cultivated) relatives. The story of what wild relatives gave rise to early cultivated potatoes, and what early cultivated potatoes gave rise to modern cultivated potatoes is controversial. This paper reviews the literature on these topics and suggests that the first cultivated potatoes had many origins from different wild species. It also breaks with tradition and suggests that some of our earliest modern cultivated potatoes had origins from cultivated potatoes from Chile, in addition to cultivated potatoes from the Central Andes. It also provides a new classification of modern cultivated potatoes based on characters that are in common use by potato scientists and other users such as tuber colors, shapes and uses, such as use for table stock or industrial uses. It will greatly simplify classification of cultivated potatoes in groups that are of actual use to breeders and other users.

Technical Abstract: Cultivated potatoes are clearly derived from wild potatoes, but the evolutionary history of cultivated potatoes has been controversial. This literature review suggests that modern cultivars have had a complex series of origins. In contrast to prevailing opinions, we suggest that early modern cultivars had a diverse set of progenitors, including early origins from landraces from Chile. We also propose a new classification of modern cultivars of cultivated potatoes. Cultivated potatoes have been classified as species under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) and as cultivar groups under the International Code of Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants (ICNCP); both classifications are still widely used. This study follows a recent study that reclassified the landrace cultivates species of cultivated potatoes as cultivar groups under a single species, Solanum tuberosum. It proposes a new cultivar group classification of modern cultivars of cultivated potatoes as cultivar groups (under rules of the ICNCP), based on user criteria of tuber colors, shapes and uses. It will greatly simplify classification of cultivated potatoes in groups that are of actual use to breeders and other users.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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