Genomic exploration of wild Solanum species.

Project: PhD

Project Details


Potato, belonging to the tuber-bearing section Petota of the genus Solanum in the nightshade family Solanaceae, is the foremost non-cereal staple crop. Since the completion of the first potato reference genome in 2011 (citation), increasing studies have developed genomic resources for diploid potato species (citation). This has significantly enhanced the understanding of potato evolution and domestication history, haplotypic diversity and genomic alteration during the emergence of the storage and reproductive organ, tuber. Apart from diploid potato wild relatives, a large proportion of potato wild species are polyploid and some of them contain valuable gene repertoire, such as those conferring resistance to diseases and pests. However, genomic resources for these species are still lacking. Currently, in Department of Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research, we have generated deep genome-wide resequencing data for some 220 wild potato accessions with different ploidy levels (from 2× to 6×). Combined with the resequencing data of 164 diploid wild potatoes from Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, we can discover a wealth of useful and previously unknown genomic information from xx out of the 107 extant wild potato species (citation). This includes how mating system (self-compatibility and self-incompatibility) has changed population genomic diversity, genomic insights into the origin of polyploid species, how alien introgression during resistance breeding has changed the genomes of modern autotetraploid potatoes varieties, etc. In conjunction with the ample genomic resources, we will also collect phenotypic data for these potato wild species, particularly disease and pest resistance, tuber quality traits and abiotic stress resilience. This will enable multi-trait and multi-model genome-wide association studies to identify genetic variants that are possibly associated with these agronomically important traits.
Effective start/end date1/09/23 → …


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