Hybrid origins of cultivated potatoes
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Solanum section Petota is taxonomically difficult, partly because of interspecific hybridization at both the diploid and polyploid levels. The taxonomy of cultivated potatoes is particularly controversial. Using DNA sequence data of the waxy gene, we here infer relationships among the four species of cultivated potatoes accepted in the latest taxonomic treatment (S. ajanhuiri, S. curtilobum, S. juzepczukii and S. tuberosum, the latter divided into the Andigenum and Chilotanum Cultivar Groups). The data support prior ideas of hybrid origins of S. ajanhuiri from the S. tuberosum Andigenum Group (2x = S. stenotomum) x S. megistacrolobum; S. juzepczukii from the S. tuberosum Andigenum Group (2x = S. stenotomum) x S. acaule; and S. curtilobum from the S. tuberosum Andigenum Group (4x = S. tuberosum subsp. andigenum) x S. juzepczukii. For the tetraploid cultivar-groups of S. tuberosum, hybrid origins are suggested entirely within much more closely related species, except for two of three examined accessions of the S. tuberosum Chilotanum Group that appear to have hybridized with the wild species S. maglia. Hybrid origins of the crop/weed species S. sucrense are more difficult to support and S. vernei is not supported as a wild species progenitor of the S. tuberosum Andigenum Group.
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