Genetic mapping of tuber size distribution and marketable tuber yield under drought stress in potatoes

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Drought sensitivity of potato leads to a reduction in total tuber yield and marketable yield. An investigation of drought effects on tuber yield attributes will facilitate our understanding of how to reduce such huge yield losses. We have evaluated tuber yield, tuber size distribution and marketable yield of a set of 103 European commercial potato cultivars under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in the field. The multi-year results from two locations, Connantre, France (2013–2015) and Nieuw-Namen in Zeeland, The Netherlands (2013–2014), were analysed. We used Normal and Gamma Distribution models to describe the tuber size distribution of tuber fresh weight and tuber number, respectively. The interactions among parameters of tuber size distribution and total/marketable tuber yield traits were analysed using correlation matrices and biplots. Finally, we used a 14K Infinium SNP marker array to find associations between the parameters or traits and genetic loci on the potato genome. Late foliage maturity facilitated a wider spread of tuber size distribution in favour of larger-sized tubers. Drought effects on total yield were representative of their impact on marketable yield, however, absolute values of total tuber number may not be indicative of marketable number of tubers. We found significant marker-trait associations between a region on chromosome 3 and the spread of tuber number distribution, size class with maximum tuber number and marketable fractions of tuber number and tuber weight. These findings will contribute to improvement and selection for drought tolerance in potato.

Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Association panel
  • Drought
  • Marketable tubers
  • Modelling
  • Size
  • Yield


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