Genetic Diversity of Potato Cultivars for Nitrogen Use Efficiency Under Contrasting Nitrogen Regimes

Baye Berihun Getahun, Molla Mekonen Kassie, Richard G.F. Visser, Gerard van der Linden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Developing cultivars that use nitrogen more efficiently is a sustainable strategy for reducing nitrogen use in crop production. To assess the genetic diversity for nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and related traits in potato, a total of 97 (88 for the Western-European market and 9 Ethiopian) cultivars were evaluated at two nitrogen levels (40 kg/ha and 120 kg/ha) for 24 quantitative traits in Debre-Tabor and Injibara (Ethiopia) in the 2013 main rainy season (June to September). Highly significant variation was found among genotypes for almost all measured traits. Plant height, NUE, tuber yield, and yield-related traits and model parameters for canopy development (maximum canopy covers area under the canopy curve) were significantly affected by N levels across locations. Dutch cultivars had more rapid initial canopy development and matured earlier than the Ethiopian cultivars at both N levels and locations. A hierarchical cluster analysis grouped the cultivars in 9 and 11 genetically distinct classes at low and high N, respectively. The genetic component accounted for a large portion of the phenotypic variation for plant height, tuber number per plant, average tuber weight, and NUE under both N regimes, as indicated by a high heritability. Strong phenotypic correlations were observed between NUE and tuber number per plant, days to maturity, tuber dry matter %, maximum canopy cover, and area under the canopy curve under both low and high N conditions. The result is indicative to set the best parental line selection criteria for crossing purpose and utilize the cultivars for further potato NUE breeding programmes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPotato Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2019


  • Dutch potato cultivars
  • Ethiopian potato cultivars
  • Genetic diversity
  • Nitrogen use efficiency
  • Path coefficient analysis

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