The Possibilities and Limitations of Implementing Solanum verrucosum Bridge Crosses in Breeding Programs

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM


Bridge crosses using Solanum verrucosum allow breeders to utilize many wild species that have been considered inaccessible. This method does not require ploidy manipulation, somatic fusion, or embryo rescue; thus reducing the costs and expertise needed to access genetically distant species. Many of these species have durable and broad resistance to late blight and Colorado potato beetle; and show resistance to cold induce sweetening and tuber greening. With a treasure trove of promising traits, access to these species has been a priority for decades despite its limitations. We have examined the use of S. verrucosum bridge crosses to access S. bulbocastanum, S. cardiophyllum, S. commersonii, S. jamesii, and S. pinnatisectum. Through hundreds of crosses we have examined how specific combinations effect male and female fertility, and have learned more about the potential possibilities and limitations. For example: S. commersonii has proven to be easier to access than other species, and some pre-breeding may be required before bridge crosses are effective with species such as S. bulbocastanum. Our aim is to show what this method looks like in practice, giving breeders insight on how to implement this method, and growers new hope for powerful new agronomic and resistance traits in the future.

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