Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2008
Publication Date: October 28, 2009
Citation: Jansky, S.H. 2009. Breeding, Genetics, and Cultivar Development. In: Singh, J., Kaur, L., editors. Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology. New York, NY:Elsevier. p. 27-62.
Potato breeding is a challenge due to the tetraploid nature of the potato, limited variability for economically important traits in adapted breeding clones, and a complex set of requirements necessary for the successful adoption of new cultivars. However, rich germplasm resources are readily available and the genetic diversity in Solanum relatives is typically easily transferred to cultivated potatoes via interspecific crosses. The production of diploid hybrids between cultivated and wild potato species offers an easy and effective method for capturing much of the diversity in wild species, while allowing breeding and genetic studies to be carried out at the diploid level. Sexual polyploidization can then be used to transfer valuable wild species traits and genetic diversity back to the tetraploid level, where hybrids to cultivars are readily produced. To date, breeders have tapped into only a small fraction of the available genetic resources of potato using these methods. There is good reason for optimism about the prospects for continued genetic improvements in potato.