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Early generation selection at multiple locations may identify potato parents that produce more widely adapted progency

Haynes, K. G., Gergela, D. M., Hutchinson, C. M., Yencho, G. C., Clough, M. E., Henninger, M. R., Halseth, D. E., Sandsted, E., Porter, G. A., Ocaya, P. C.
Euphytica 2012 v.186 no.2 pp. 573
USDA, clones, cultivars, genotype, parents, potatoes, progeny, seeds, Florida, Maine
Potato production in the eastern U.S. occurs over a wide range of environments from Maine to Florida; many of these states do not have a breeding program. Initial selections are usually made at the breeding location for more than two years before undergoing evaluation elsewhere, at which point, few clones remain from the original population. The purpose of this study was to determine if parents that produce progeny with broad adaptation could be identified early in the USDA/ARS Potato Breeding Program. For three years (2007-2009), seed of all second-field-generation clones was distributed to five locations for selection. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, selections were made among 339, 321, and 381 clones, respectively. For each parent in each year, chi-square values were calculated from the observed and expected number of progeny selected. Each year, parents that produced poorly- or broadly-adapted offspring were identified. Among the progeny selected at three or more locations, 27% to 70% had not been selected by the breeding program. Early-generation selection can be used to identify parents that produce broadly-adapted progeny and may identify broadly-adapted progeny before they are discarded by the breeding program. Because potatoes display such strong genotype x environment interactions, this selection approach may be particularly beneficial for selecting potato cultivars with broad adaptation.