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Broad-Sense Heritability and Stability of Internal Heat Necrosis and Specific Gravity in Tetraploid Potatoes


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 4, p. 977-984
    Received: June 4, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): khaynes@asrr.arsusda.gov
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  1. M. R. Henningera,
  2. S. B. Sterrettb and
  3. K. G. Haynes *c
  1. a Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 USA
    b Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Painter, VA 23420 USA
    c USDA/ARS, Vegetable Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705 USA


Internal heat necrosis (IHN), a severe physiological disorder of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers, is characterized by brown spots or blotches that first appear toward the apical end of the tuber parenchyma but in severe cases may involve most of the parenchyma tissue. The purposes of this study were to determine the amount of genetic variation for and the stability of IHN in tetraploid potato clones, and the relationships among IHN, specific gravity, and tuber size distribution. Nineteen potato clones (four cultivars and 15 breeding selections) were grown in Bridgeton, NJ and Painter, VA from 1991 to 1993 in a randomized complete block with four replications of 20 hills per plot. The crop was harvested 2 to 3 wk later than normal harvest time to provide for maximal exposure to heat stress. All tubers were harvested and graded by size. All tubers >64 mm in diameter were quartered longitudinally and rated by size for IHN ( 1= severe IHN ; 9= no IHN ) Incidence and severity of IHN were recorded. Broad-sense heritabilities and their 95% confidence intervals were: 0.83 (0.68, 0.93) for incidence of IHN in Size 3 (64–83 mm diameter) tubers; 0.88 (0.71, 0.94) for incidence in Size 4 (>83 mm diameter) tubers; 0.85 (0.72, 0.94) for severity of IHN in Size 3 tubers; 0.90 (0.78, 0.96) for severity of IHN in Size 4 tubers; 0.92 (0.85, 0.97) for specific gravity in Size 3 tubers; 0.77 (0.54, 0.91) for specific gravity in Size 4 tubers; and 0.86 (0.73, 0.94) for total yield. Several of the more IHN-susceptible clones were unstable for IHN both before and after environmental heterogeneity was removed. The correlation between incidence and severity of IHN was very high. There was no correlation between IHN and total yield or specific gravity. The results of this study indicate that breeding high yielding, high specific gravity cultivars for resistance to IHN should be feasible.

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