Seventeen potato dihaploids, produced by pollinating the tetraploid (2n = 48) cv 'Pentland Crown' with pollen from Solanum phureja (2n = 24) dihaploid inducer clones, were studied. Since dihaploids are thought to develop parthenogenetically from unfertilized ovules they were expected to be euploid (2n = 24), but somatic chromosome counts showed that 15 of the 17 dihaploids were aneusomatic. Ten of the clones were predominantly diploid (2n = 24) with a proportion of hyperploid cells that contained 25 or 26 chromosomes. Five of the dihaploids contained variable numbers of triploid cells (2n = 36). RFLP analysis was used to determine whether the additional chromosomes were from S. phureja or S. tuberosum. Unique hybridizing fragments present in S. phureja but not in 'Pentland Crown' were identified. These S. phureja-specific restriction fragments were present in some of the dihaploid offspring of 'Pentland Crown'. Of the 5 clones that contained triploid cells 4 had S. phureja type banding. Four of the 10 aneusomatic clones that contained hyperploid cells had the unique S. phureja hybridizing fragments. We propose that ovules of 'Pentland Crown' were fertilized by pollen from S. phureja and that the aneusomatic clones were derived from triploid zygotes from which some of the S. phureja chromosomes were eliminated. We consider that this is an additional mechanism of dihaploid formation in potato.
- Chromosome elimination