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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Thirty wild potato descriptions from North and Central America for NSF plant biotic inventories monograph project

Author
item Spooner, David

Submitted to: Systematic Botany Monographs
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2004
Publication Date: December 20, 2004
Citation: Spooner, D.M. 2004. Thirty wild potato descriptions from North and Central America for NSF plant biotic inventories monograph project. Systematic Botany Monographs. 68:1-209.

Interpretive Summary: The genus Solanum is one of the largest and most economically important plant families worldwide. It includes the major food plants potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, many lesser-known tropical fruits, and important medicinal plants. Adding to the importance of the genus Solanum is the fact that tomato is the subject of a world-wide project to determine its entire compliment of DNA sequences, on a scale like that in other major sequencing projects in some other plants and in humans. The genus Solanum contains about 1500 species, but many of these species are poorly known and we know little about how they are related to each other. My responsibility is to investigate how many species there are for tomato and potato, containing about 200 Solanum species, and to investigate their relationships. It is part of a larger five-year project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation entitled 'A world-wide treatment of the genus Solanum,' (see the web site http://www.nhm.ac.uk/botany/databases/solanum/ for details of this project). The primary responsibility of this grant is to construct an on-line taxonomic monograph of the entire genus Solanum. This year I submitted monographic species descriptions for 30 species from North and Central America. Because of the worldwide economic importance of Solanum in agriculture, information obtained as a result of this project is expected to benefit society as a whole by enhancing breeding programs for the improvement of cultivated species, adding taxonomic knowledge to the Solanum DNA sequencing project, initiatives, and by contributing to the conservation of wild Solanum species that may be useful as germplasm resources.

Technical Abstract: This work is progress towards a National Science Foundation Grant 'A world-wide treatment of the genus Solanum' (Jan 2004-Dec 2007; http://www.nhm.ac.uk/botany/databases/solanum/). The primary responsibility of this grant is to construct an on-line taxonomic monograph of the entire genus Solanum. The genus Solanum contains about 1500 species, and my responsibility is to write the tomato and potato sections, containing about 200 of these species. This year I submitted monographic treatments of 30 species from North and Central America. The work was extracted from a recently published monograph by Spooner et al. from Systematic Botany Monographs vol. 68:1-209, 2004, on the wild potato species from North and Central America. The work includes data on scientific names of these species, descriptions, illustrations, distribution maps, and information on species relationships. To this work was added new information on relationships of potatoes to other members of the genus Solanum, and web links to herbarium type specimens, and reformatting of the work to fit the style of the other Solanum species descriptions for this on-line work. Because of the worldwide economic importance of Solanum in agriculture, information obtained as a result of this project is expected to benefit society as a whole by enhancing breeding programs for the improvement of cultivated species, adding taxonomic knowledge to the Solanum DNA sequencing project, initiatives, and by contributing to the conservation of wild Solanum species that may be useful as germplasm resources.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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