Plant Genetic Resources

Research Article

Genetic diversity among potato species as revealed by phenotypic resistances and SSR markers

D. Carputoa1 c1, D. Aliotoa2, R. Aversanoa1, R. Garramonea1, V. Miragliaa1, C. Villanoa1 and L. Frusciantea1

a1 Department of Soil Plant, Environmental, and Animal Production Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy

a2 Department of Arboriculture, Botany and Plant Pathology, University of Naples Federico II, Via Università 100, 80055, Portici, Italy


The evolutionary diversity of wild potato species makes them excellent materials for improving the narrow genetic basis of the cultivated potato Solanum tuberosum. Understanding their genetic diversity is important not only to choose the best parents for breeding, but also to design proper crossing schemes and selection strategies. The objectives of this study were to determine the resistance response to Ralstonia solanacearum, Potato virus Y and low temperatures of 21 clones of 12 potato species, and to determine their genetic diversity through simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Sources of resistance have been found for all the investigated traits, with high resistance variability not only between but also within species. Combined resistances were also identified, with positive implications for efficient breeding. SSR analysis allowed the detection of 12 loci and 46 alleles across all genotypes, with an average value of 3.8 alleles per locus. Both unique and rare alleles useful for marker-assisted selection were found. SSR-based cluster analysis revealed that resistant genotypes were distributed among all clusters, suggesting that genetically different resistant genotypes were identified. The information obtained in this study is discussed from a breeding perspective.

(Received September 29 2012)

(Accepted November 25 2012)

(Online publication January 03 2013)

Key Words:

  • low temperatures;
  • marker-assisted selection;
  • PVY;
  • Ralstonia solanacearum ;
  • Solanum spp


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: