Traits and Genetics
Examining potatoes’ past could improve spuds of the future
Examining the ancestors of the modern, North American cultivated potato has revealed a set of common genes and important genetic pathways that have helped spuds adapt over thousands of years.
Cultivated potatoes, domesticated from wild Solanum species, a genetically simpler diploid (containing two complete sets of chromosomes) species, can be traced to the Andes Mountains in Peru, South America.
Scientific explorer Michael Hardigan, formerly at MSU and now at the University of California-Davis, led the team of MSU and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University scientists. Together, they studied wild, landrace (South American potatoes that are grown by local farmers) and modern cultivars developed by plant breeders. For the full story, click here.