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Genetic variation for potato tuber micronutrient content and implications for biofortification of potatoes to reduce micronutrient malnutrition

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Micronutrients are crucial to healthy growth and development, yet a large proportion of the world’s population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortification of staple foods has tremendous potential to alleviate these deficiencies. Potato production in developing countries is increasing rapidly, and therefore, biofortification of potatoes for essential micronutrients may be feasible. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of genetic variation for micronutrient content in potato germplasm. Eighteen potato clones, consisting of ‘Atlantic’ and 17 4x-2x hybrids between S. tuberosum and diploid hybrids of S. phureja-S. stenotomum, were grown in three locations (NC, VA, NJ) two years (2001, 2002). Samples of tuber tissue were analyzed for copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn). There were significant differences among clones for Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn. Clone x environment interactions were significant for Cu and Zn. Broad-sense heritability and its 95% confidence interval for Cu was 0.65 (0.50-0.89); Fe was 0.49 (0.27 – 0.84); Mn was 0.84 (0.82 – 0.96); and Zn was 0.82 (0.73 – 0.94). Genetic variation for these four micronutrients is large, suggesting that the micronutrient content of potatoes can be improved through breeding.
K. G. Haynes , G. C. Yencho , M. E. Henninger , S. B. Sterrett
USDA Scientist Submission
American journal of potato research 2012 June v.89 no.3
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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