The use of DNA markers to estimate the extent and nature of genetic variability in Solatium tuberosum cultivars


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High levels of DNA polymorphism were detected in 27 Solanum tuberosum cultivars examined. Combinations of at least two c‐DNA clones have been identified which in conjunction with EcoRI allow important UK potato cultivars to be characterised by their molecular profiles. The widely grown North American cultivar Russett Burbank was also successfully fingerprinted. Estimates of genetic diversity based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) data indicate the important role that wild potato species and exotic germplasm have played in the development of the cultivars studied. A graphical method for simultaneously highlighting similarities and differences between genotypes for individual hybridising fragments is presented. This approach is particularly useful in identifying and recording fragments which are unique to certain genotypes. Two potato cultivars: Fiona and Morag produce unique RFLP profiles when digested with EcoRI and EcoRV and probed with a flax ribosomal DNA sequence. Both Fiona and Morag possess incomplete or partial (quantitative) type resistance to G. pallida which was transferred from S. vernei. The preferential transmission of the r‐DN A fragments from S. vernei may indicate that this locus is associated with genetic factors controlling resistance to G. pallida.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991


  • G. pallida
  • genetic variability
  • potato
  • resistance
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphisms
  • ribosomal DNA

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