Although potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber yellow flesh per se is known to be controlled by a single gene, the intensity of yellow flesh varies widely in Solanum L. species. Many diploid species have very intense yellow flesh, as compared to the commercial tetraploid yellow-flesh cultivar `Yukon Gold'. Inheritance of yellow-flesh intensity at the diploid level was investigated in a hybrid population of S. phureja ssp. phureja (Juz. & Buk.)-S. stenotomum ssp. stenotomum (Juz. & Buk.) (PHU-STN). Six randomly chosen male parents were crossed to five randomly chosen female parents in a Design II mating scheme. In 1993, ≈12 progeny (clones) from each of the 30 families were planted in a randomized complete block design with two replications in Presque Isle, Maine, and evaluated for tuber yellow-flesh intensity as measured by a reflectance colorimeter. Twenty-five tubers from each plot were scored using the YI E-313 yellow intensity scale. An average YI E-313 score was obtained for each plot. Narrow-sense heritability on a plot mean basis was estimated as 0.99 with a SE of 0.65 to 0.72. There were significant differences among clones within a family. Results suggest that rapid progress can be made in breeding for intense yellow flesh in this diploid population. Clones from this population that produce 2n gametes represent an important source of germplasm for enhancing the intensity of the yellow-flesh trait in tetraploid potatoes.
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