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Sergey Nesterenko and Kenneth C. Sink

Lutein and zeaxanthin are becoming established as carotenoids beneficial for protection against common age-associated eye diseases. Thus, 15 potato (Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum L.) breeding lines, cultivars Atlantic, Spunta, and Yukon Gold; and orange flesh OR-4 were surveyed for carotenoid profiles. Seven carotenoids, including violaxanthin, neoaxanthin, antheraxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoaxanthin, and β-carotene, were identified in the 19 genotypes. Violaxanthin and lutein were the prominent carotenoids detected in all genotypes studied. Neoaxanthin and antheraxanthin were found in 26% and 63% of the genotypes, respectively. β-Cryptoaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene were found in only 5%, 10%, and 16% of the genotypes, respectively. Lutein varied from 19.8 to 119.0 μg·100 g-1 fresh weight across the 15 white- or yellow-flesh breeding lines. In contrast, zeaxanthin was detected at a low level in only one breeding line and at high level in OR-4. The three cultivars had profiles typical of yellow-flesh potatoes `Spunta' and `Yukon Gold'; while `Atlantic' had a typical white-flesh profile and a trace of zeaxanthin. The carotenoid baseline data established in this study provide information for activities to enhance potato for lutein and zeaxanthin.

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Kathleen G. Haynes

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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Björn H. Karlsson and Jiwan P. Palta

Recent studies suggest cold-regulated heat-stable proteins mitigate the potential damaging effects of low water activity associated with freezing. A proposed function of these proteins is stabilization of enzymes during exposure of plants to subzero temperatures. To test this hypothesis for tuber-bearing Solanum L. species we determined the quantitative expression of heat-stable proteins, the qualitative changes in dehydrin proteins, and the capacity of heat-stable proteins to cryoprotect a freeze-thaw labile enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). We used five tuber-bearing Solanum species (S. tuberosum L. `Red Pontiac', S. acaule Bitter, S. sanctae rosea Hawkes, S. commersonii Dunal, and S. cardiophyllum Bitter), which vary in nonacclimated relative freezing tolerance (NA RFT), acclimated relative freezing tolerance (AC RFT), and acclimation capacity (ACC). The protein fraction containing a mixture of heat-stable proteins demonstrated cryoprotective capacities greater or equal to other cryoprotective compounds (bovine serum albumin, polyethylene glycol, glycerol, and sucrose). Heat-stable proteins extracted from acclimated S. commersonii had superior cryoprotective capacity than those extracted from nonacclimated S. commersonii plants. Interestingly, in the presence of these proteins extracted from acclimated plants (in S. commersonii and S. sanctae rosea), LDH activity was elevated above that of unfrozen controls. No quantitative relationships were found between heat-stable protein concentration and NA RFT, AC RFT, or ACC among the five species. This was also true for dehydrin protein expression. Cold acclimation treatment resulted in increased dehydrin expression for acclimating and nonacclimating species. In three of the cold acclimating species (S. acaule, S. sanctae rosea, and S. commersonii), an increase in dehydrin expression may play a role in increased freezing tolerance during cold acclimation. In the cold sensitive, nonacclimating species (S. tuberosum and S. cardiophyllum), however, an increase in dehydrin level maybe related to the response of these species to changed (perhaps stressful) environment during cold treatment. By exploiting the genetic variation in NA RFT and ACC for five tuber-bearing species, we were able to gain new insight into the complexity of the relationship between heat-stable protein and cold response.

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Joseph J. Coombs, David S. Douches, Susannah G. Cooper, Edward J. Grafius, Walter L. Pett, and Dale D. Moyer

Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) is the leading insect pest of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) in northern latitudes. Host plant resistance is an important tool in an integrated pest management program for controlling insect pests. Field studies were conducted to compare natural host plant resistance mechanisms (glandular trichomes and Solanum chacoense Bitter-derived resistance), engineered [Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Berliner Bt-cry3A], and combined (glandular trichomes + Bt-cry3A and S. chacoense-derived resistance + Bt-cry3A transgenic potato lines) sources of resistance for control of colorado potato beetle. Six different potato clones representing five different host plant resistance mechanisms were evaluated for 2 years in a field situation under natural colorado potato beetle pressure in Michigan and New York, and in a no-choice field cage study in Michigan. In the field studies, the S. chacoense-derived resistance line, Bt-cry3A transgenic, and combined resistance lines were effective in controlling defoliation by colorado potato beetle adults and larvae. Effectively no feeding was observed in the Bt-cry3A transgenic lines. The glandular trichome line suffered less defoliation than the susceptible control, but had greater defoliation than the Bt-cry3A transgenic lines and the S. chacoense-derived resistance line. In the no-choice cage study, the Bt-cry3A transgenic lines and the combined resistance lines were effective in controlling feeding by colorado potato beetle adults and larvae with no defoliation observed. The S. chacoense-derived resistance line and the glandular trichome line suffered less defoliation than the susceptible control. Based on the results of the field trials and no-choice field cage studies, these host plant resistance mechanisms could be used to develop potato varieties for use in a resistance management program for control of colorado potato beetle.

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M. Moriondo, M. Bindi, and T. Sinclair

Crop growth simulation models have been mainly developed to simulate final yield reliably. Thus, a main challenge in these models is the definition of a stable method for expressing the growth of harvested organs (e.g., fruit, seed, tuber, etc.). Generally, two approaches have been used: growth rate analysis of harvested organs [yield growth rate (YGR)] and analysis of harvest index (HI) increase over time (dHI/dt). This work aims to: 1) examine whether YGR and dHI/dt increase linearly over much of growing period, and 2) compare the two growth indices in terms of stability across a number of treatments, in order to identify which is the best indicator of harvest-organ growth. This analysis has already been performed for a large number of field crops, including wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), soybean [Glycine max L. (Merr.)], and pea (Pisum sativum L.), but it has never been attempted in crops where final yield is not simply seeds. In this study, YGR and dHI/dt performances for tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.), potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), and eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) were compared using 21, 18, and 4 datasets, respectively. Results indicated that both descriptors of harvest-organ growth increased linearly for most of the growth period, whilst the comparison among the two variables in terms of stability showed that, although a direct statistical test failed, dHI/dt was more suitable to describe harvest-organ growth (smaller coefficient of variability) under a large range of crop management conditions (e.g., irrigation, sowing date, planting density, and water salt concentration).

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John W. Scott

Standardized phenotyping is being used in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and potato (S. tuberosum) as part of the USDA-funded Solanaceae coordinated agricultural project (SolCAP). In tomato, a panel of 480 lines, 144 fresh market, 144 processing, 44 vintage lines, 48 landraces, and 101 related Solanum species accessions, are being grown over two seasons at multiple locations. These tomato genotypes will also be screened for over 7600 single nucleotide polymorphism markers that are being developed. Characters being phenotyped are hypocotyl color, plant habit, inflorescence (simple or compound), flower fasciation, flowering time, time to maturity, size of blossom scar, and pedicel type (jointless or jointed). Transverse and equatorial cross-sections of fruit are also being scanned to obtain measures of fruit shape and color by tomato analyzer computer software. Other fruit characters being measured are pH, titratable acidity, and soluble solids. Some useful information may come from this phenotyping and genotyping effort. However, in this author's opinion, the value of measuring some of the traits is very limited in the face of much more important breeding traits that are difficult to fit into a standardized phenotyping format. For instance, proper assessment of several fruit disorders is not being attempted, but such data might yield some invaluable marker information. Part of this is the result of funding limitations for the phenotyping effort. However, a major benefit of the SolCAP analysis will be the development of markers that will differentiate the lines being studied, because there is a present lack of polymorphisms in tomato germplasm where wild species introgressions are minimal or distant in time. This will allow breeders to proactively select for recurrent parent backgrounds in backcrossing projects and may aid in the identification of associations of markers with important characteristics. As one looks to the future of standardized phenotyping, there are some important traits that will be difficult to phenotype such as tomato flavor, which is quite subjective and for which there are no good objective measures.

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Randy J. Lewis and Stephen L. Love

Petiole NO3-N concentrations (PNCs) of seven potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) genotypes grown under four N treatments were studied. In 1986-88, the cultigens were planted in plots with a gradient of available N created by adding 0,140,280, or 420 kg N/ha ammonium nitrate split between preplant and periodic seasonal applications. PNCs were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) affected by year, sampling time (four times per season), N rate, and cultigen. All first- and second-order interactions were also significant (P <0.05). The relative PNC ranking among cultigens remained nearly constant across years when averaged across sampling dates and N rates. Regression-equation distinctiveness for each cultigen relating PNC to sampling time demonstrated a genotypic influence on seasonal PNC and allowed separation into four response classes. Using a data subset consisting of the 1988 trial, an optimal N rate was determined and regression equations were computed relating PNC to sampling date for each cultigen at the applied N rate nearest to the optimum. Tests for distinction separated the equations of the seven cultigens into six unique classes; `Frontier Russet' and `Ranger Russet' equations were coincident.

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Genhua Niu, Makio Hayashi, and Toyoki Kozai

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Benimaru) plantlets were cultured under four lighting cycles (photoperiod/dark period: 16 h/8 h, 4 h/2 h, 1 h/0.5 h, and 0.25 h/0.125 h) photoautotrophically (without sugar in the medium), and photomixotrophically (with sugar in the medium) in vitro for 28 days. Simulations of time courses of CO2 concentration in the vessel (Ci) and dry weight accumulation of the plantlets cultured photoautotrophically were conducted using a previously developed model (Niu and Kozai, 1997). While underestimation and overestimation of time courses of Ci in some treatments were observed, the simulated results of Ci and dry weight accumulation of the plantlets generally agreed with the measured ones. The difference of net photosynthetic rate response to Ci throughout the culture period was examined between the plantlets cultured photoautotrophically and photomixotrophically. Quantitative relationship between daily net photosynthetic rate (daily net production) and vessel ventilation rate per plantlet was simulated under various CO2 levels outside the vessel for given sizes of potato plantlets cultured photoautotrophically in vitro to aid appropriate CO2 enrichment and vessel design in commercial micropropagation.

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Anusuya Rangarajan, A. Raymond Miller, and Richard Veilleux

Leptine (LP) glycoalkaloids have been demonstrated to confer natural resistance to the Colorado potato beetle (CPB) in Solanum chacoense (chc). Development of cultivated potatoes with natural resistance to CPB has the potential to reduce both costs and environmental impacts of production by reducing pesticide use. To introgress the genes conferring leptine production from chc into S. tuberosum (tbr), clones of chc have been crossed with clones of S. phureja. Leaf disks from eight hybrids were subjected to a CPB second instar feeding bioassay to determine if extent of feeding was related to LP levels. Most hybrids contained leptinidine (LD, the aglycone of LP) levels intermediate to chc and tbr, and insect feeding was suppressed 30% to 50% in hybrids containing >10 mg·g–1 DW LD. One hybrid displaying feeding suppression contained a very low level of LD, whereas another hybrid that contained higher levels of LD had higher feeding rates. The presence of LD at “threshold” levels in these hybrids will suppress feeding of CPB, but other factors affecting resistance are also present and need to be explored.

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Joan R. Davenport and Mary J. Hattendorf

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) are grown extensively throughout the Pacific northwestern United States as a high value crop in irrigated rotations with other row crops such as wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and both field and sweet corn (Zea mays L.). Center pivots are the predominant irrigation systems. Soil texture ranges from coarse sands to finer textured silt loams and silts and can vary within one field, particularly in fields with hilly topography. Site specific management is being evaluated as an approach to help to optimize inputs (water, seed, agricultural chemicals) to maintain or enhance yield and reduce potential negative environmental impacts from these farming systems. Currently, variable rate fertilizer application technology and harvest yield monitoring equipment are commercially available for potato. Variable rate seeding and variable rate irrigation water application technologies are developed but not fully commercialized and variable rate pesticide application equipment is in development. At the Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Wash., we have a team of research scientists, interested individuals from local industry, and other key organizations (e.g. local conservation districts) who are working together to evaluate different site specific technologies, improve the ability to use available tools, and to improve decision-making ability by conducting research both on farm and in research plots.