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A Test of Taxonomic and Biogeographic Predictivity: Resistance to Potato virus Y in Wild Relatives of the Cultivated Potato

September 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  9
Pages  1,074 - 1,080

X. K. Cai, D. M. Spooner, and S. H. Jansky

First author: College of Horticulture and Forestry, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China; second and third authors: United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 53706-1590.

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Accepted for publication 1 May 2011.

A major justification for taxonomic research is its assumed ability to predict the presence of traits in a group for which the trait has been observed in a representative subset of the group. Similarly, populations in similar environments are expected to be more alike than populations in divergent environments. Consequently, it is logical to assume that taxonomic relationships and biogeographical data have the power to predict the distribution of disease resistance phenotypes among plant species. The objective of this study was to test predictivity in a group of widely distributed wild potato species, based on hypotheses that closely related organisms (taxonomy) or organisms from similar environments (biogeography) share resistance to a simply inherited trait (Potato virus Y [PVY]). We found that wild potato species with an endosperm balance number (EBN) of 1 (a measure of cross compatibility) shared resistances to PVY more than species with different EBN values. However, a large amount of variation was found for resistance to PVY among and within species. We also found that populations from low elevations were more resistant than those from high elevations. Because PVY is vectored by aphids, we speculate that the distribution of aphids may determine the level of selection pressure for PVY resistance.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2011.