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Two Cycles of Recurrent Maternal Half-Sib Selection Reduce Foliar Late Blight in a Diploid Hybrid Solanum phureja-S. stenotomum Population by Two-thirds

Kathleen G. Haynes, Xinshun Qu, Barbara J. Christ
American journal of potato research 2014 v.91 no.3 pp. 254-259
Phytophthora infestans, Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigenum, adverse effects, artificial selection, clones, cultivars, diploidy, disease resistance, field experimentation, genetic variance, growing season, heritability, hybridization, hybrids, leaves, Pennsylvania
Foliar late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is an important disease problem worldwide. Foliar resistance to late blight was found in a hybrid population of the cultivated diploid species Solanum phureja-S. stenotomum (phu-stn). The objective of this study was to determine if resistance to late blight could be improved by recurrent maternal half-sib selection in the phu-stn population. Four clones from each of 72 maternal half-sib families plus the check cultivar ‘Atlantic’ were evaluated for late blight resistance in replicated field trials in Pennsylvania. The most late blight resistant clone from each of the 72 families was randomly intermated to advance the population. The cycle 1, 2, and 3 populations were evaluated in 1996–1997, 2003–2004, and 2009–2010, respectively. Percent infected foliage was recorded several times towards the end of the growing season and used to compute area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC). Mean AUDPC was 652 (cycle 1), 556 (cycle 2), and 276 (cycle 3), whereas the mean AUDPC of ‘Atlantic’ ranged from 775 to 863 each cycle. Narrow-sense heritability for resistance was estimated as 0.78, 0.77, and 0.80 in cycles 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Recurrent maternal half-sib selection continues to improve the levels of resistance to late blight in this diploid population with no adverse effect on the amount of additive genetic variance. Additional improvements for late blight resistance are likely to occur if this approach is continued.