Introgression of Genes for Resistance against Phytophthora infestans in Diploid Potato

Modern techniques, such as hybrid breeding and the introduction of new traits in specific, existing elite material, have not been reported in the development of new and improved potato varieties. This paper describes the first example of marker-assisted introgression of four different Phytophthora infestans resistance genes in selected highly homozygous, diploid potato lines. After two backcrosses and one selfing, the original line can be recovered with Phytophthora resistance, thus providing added value. After crossing two diploid lines, each with a different resistance gene, hybrids were obtained and tested for resistance to Phytophthora in small field trials. In these experiments, the hybrids with two resistance genes were more resistant than the plants with only one of the two resistance genes.

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Contribution and Stability of Yield Components of Diploid Hybrid Potato

Our researchers have shown that it is possible to obtain results for important traits such as yield, shape and dry matter that are comparable to commercial checks, while using experimental hybrids that were never before grown in an open field. In addition, they show that variation between fields for our hybrids is comparable to commercial checks. The study tries to demonstrate that even at this stage of the technology development the performance of the best diploid hybrid potato genotypes already comes close to existing tetraploid cultivars. Field experiments have been carried out with a large number of genotypes in several contrasting environments, in order to quantify GxE, but also to assess the contribution and stability of yield components of diploid hybrid potato genotypes.

The take-home messages are:

  1. There is potential in hybrid breeding of diploids.
  2. Choosing between the benefits of polyploidy and heterosis is not easy but in the future, after more progress has been made in hybrid breeding, it might well be that we should opt for heterosis.

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Potato Business: Potato Genome Breakthrough Heralds the Era of Sustainable Production

Potato Business reached out to Solynta and discussed with Dr. Michiel de Vries (the company’s Research Team Lead) issues such as the impact that the new data can potentially have on the future of the potato chain and the role of genetics in the overall evolution of potato science.

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Potato is a hugely important crop worldwide, being eaten across the world and across cultures. Increased crop productivity and strength will help cater for the increasing global population, and also serve to reduce famine in challenging and impoverished environments. The potato breeding company Solynta in The Netherlands has successfully produced a hybrid breeding program for potatoes which will allow the rapid selection and turnover of favourable traits, traits which could help feed millions of people worldwide.


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Encouraging results of early trials in East Africa

The potential of hybrid potato for East-Africa

experimental trial field in DR Congo

Potato is an important staple crop in East Africa. Most of the seed tubers are propagated in informal systems, whereby the tubers become deteriorated and contaminated, resulting in low crop yields. Potato breeding has not resulted in significantly improved varieties that overcome these constraints. Recently, true potato hybrid breeding technology has been developed, whereby diploid hybrids are generated by crossing between homozygous inbred parent lines. The first series of experimental hybrids were pre-screened in The Netherlands and ten representative hybrids were tested in East-Africa, whereby the yield of the best hybrid was 29 ton/ha. These results show the great potential of hybrid potato for East Africa.

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Call for action from North America’s leading Potato Researchers

(in Crop Science 56:1-11 | 2016) Abstract The third most important food crop worldwide, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a […]

Towards F1 Hybrid Seed Potato Breeding

Proof of Principle reached, Hybrid Breeding finally unlocking Potato full Potential

Potato Research 54:301-312, December 2011

Compared to other major food crops, progress in potato yield as the result of breeding efforts is very slow. Genetic gains cannot be fixed in potato due to obligatory out-breeding. Overcoming inbreeding depression using diploid self-compatible clones should enable to replace the current method of out-breeding and clonal propagation into an F1 hybrid system with true seeds. This idea is not new, but has long been considered unrealistic. Severe inbreeding depression and self-incompatibility in diploid germplasm have hitherto blocked the development of inbred lines. Back-crossing with a homozygous progenitor with the Sli gene which inhibits gametophytic self-incompatibility gave self-compatible offspring from elite material from our diploid breeding programme. We demonstrate that homozygous fixation of donor alleles is possible, with simultaneous improvement of tuber shape and tuber size grading of the recipient inbred line. These results provide proof of principle for F1 hybrid potato breeding. The technical and economic perspectives are unprecedented as these will enable the development of new products with combinations of useful traits for all stakeholders in the potato chain. In addition, the hybrid’s seeds are produced by crossings, rendering the production and voluminous transport of potato seed tubers redundant as it can be replaced by direct sowing or the use of healthy mini-tubers, raised in greenhouses. Read more