Funded Research Projects

2xcelerate: A diploid inbred line strategy to accelerate genetic gain in potato (USDA-AFRI)
Project Summary: We are converting potato, which is a tetraploid outcrossing crop, into a diploid inbreeding one. Breeding at the tetraploid level is inefficient and slow. Potato breeding has not kept pace with advances in breeding strategies and genomics tools. The conversion of potato into a diploid crop capable of self-pollination will allow breeders to realize the genetic gains required for potato to maintain its role as a major food crop. We have at our disposal a dominant gene that allows self-pollination in diploid germplasm and we have demonstrated that vigorous and fertile inbred lines can be made in potato. In addition, we have created diploid potato hybrids with yield and quality comparable to that of major tetraploid cultivars. We are generating 100 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from each of six genetically diverse founder parents carrying germplasm from wild and cultivated potato relatives. We will evaluate the RILs in field trials and create a dense set of DNA markers. The RILs will be provided to the US Potato Genebank as true seed populations, accompanied by the phenotype and genotype data. This RIL set will be a novel, powerful, and valuable public resource for the mapping of economically important traits and the development of markers for marker-assisted selection. In addition, we will create inbred lines of cultivated potato for use in DNA sequence analyses and the generation of additional inbred line germplasm resources such as introgression lines. Our project will provide the foundation for future research to develop diploid potato cultivars.


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