Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Title: Matryoshka: A new floral mutant in wild potato Authors
Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A population of the wild potato S. stoloniferum form fendleri (PI 660270) was collected as botanical seeds in the Santa Rita Mountains near Green Valley, Arizona, USA in fall 2010. Original seeds planted for multiplication at the genebank produced two plants with extra whorls of petals, sometimes fused with anthers, and, most remarkably, successive whorls of petals, anthers and carpels nested inside the primary carpel. This mutant, similar to Agamous mutants of Arabidopsis, was named Matryoshka after the similarly nested Russian dolls. We assumed recessive inheritance, so selfed 41 normal progeny of the original collection with intent to identify heterozygotes. No heterozygotes were found, but some ostensibly normal-flowered progeny set spontaneous small fruit without seeds, suggesting a tendency toward parthenocarpy quite unusual for this species. The authors re-collected plants from the wild in 2012 and found all individuals at first flowering in the genebank to be mutant, but as plants matured, they produced flowers with functional pollen and pistils (as evidenced by sib seed). Pollen from Matryoshka flowers applied to unrelated fendleri populations produced exactly 50% mutant F1 progeny, suggesting simple dominant inheritance transmitted from heterozygous pollen parents. Flower genetics is of interest for study, considering the potential for manipulating interspecific crossability, apomixis, and virus elimination in potato. Matryoshka could also represent adaptation of potato in the wild: Seedless Matryoshka "fruit" may serve as decoys to suppress the seed-eating larvae of Odenicarena fruit flies and Cecidomyiid gall flies which are especially prevalent in the area where the mutant originates.