The third most important food crop worldwide, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a tetraploid outcrossing species propagated from tubers. Breeders have long been challenged by
polyploidy, heterozygosity, and asexual reproduction. It has been assumed that tetraploidy is essential for high yield, that the creation of inbred potato is not feasible, and that propagation by seed tubers is ideal. In this paper, we question those assumptions and propose to convert potato into a diploid inbred line–based crop propagated by true seed. Although a conversion of this magnitude is unprecedented, the possible genetic gains from a breeding system based on inbred lines and the seed production benefits from a sexual propagation system are too large to ignore. We call on leaders of public and private organizations to come together to explore the feasibility of this radical and exciting new strategy in potato breeding.
Reinventing potato as a diploid inbred line based crop