Use of RAPD Marker Analysis to Assess Changes in the Genetic Diversity of Potato Genebanks

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  • 1 1Dept of Horticulture, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI, 53706
  • 2 2USDA–ARS, Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Station, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
  • 3 3International Potato Center, PO Box 5969, Lima, Peru
  • 4 4German/Dutch Potato Collection, CPRO-DLO/CGN, NL-6700 AA, Wageningen, Netherlands

Effects of genebank seed increases on the genetic integrity and whether germplasm in the genebank still represents the in situ populations from which it was collected are major concerns of the recently formed Association of Potato Intergenebank Collaborators (APIC), a consortium of world potato genebank leaders. This cooperative APIC research used RAPDs and morphological markers 1) to establish genetic relationships between seed increased populations within accessions and (2) to measure genetic differentiation between diploid and tetraploid potato germplasm maintained for many years and current in situ populations from the same collection sites in the wild. Solanum jamesii Torrey (2n = 2x = 24) and S. fendleri A. Gray (2n = 4x = 48), two wild potato species native to North America, were used as plant material. These species represented two major breeding systems found among Solanum species: outcrossing diploids and inbreeding disomic tetraploids, respectively. Comparisons made between populations one generation apart and between sister populations generated from a common source indicated that there has been minimal loss of genetic diversity in captive germplasm using the genebank techniques standard at NRSP-6 and other world potato genebanks. RAPD markers also revealed that significant genetic differences were found between genebank-conserved and re-collected in situ populations for all diploid potato comparisons and for about half of the comparisons within tetraploid potato populations.

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