Potato Diversity in the Andean Center of Crop Domestication


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Abstract: The diversity and population structure of potato landraces (Solanum spp.) within their center of domestication was studied using isozyme surveys of four polymorphic loci. The objective in assessing the distribution of genetic diversity was to assist in planning conservation strategies of crop genetic resources that are threatened by genetic erosion. In situ conservation methods depend on this type of analysis. Research was conducted in the region of Cusco, Peru. Eight fields spread among two microregions were randomly sampled, and 610 tubers were studied from this sample. In addition, 503 tubers were collected from markets in seven different meso‐regions (provinces) surrounding the regional center of Cusco. Thirty genotypes were identified in the field sample and 82 in the regional sample. The frequency and distribution of genotypes and alleles are described. A high degree of genotype endemism was found at both the field and regional levels. Genotypes were unevenly distributed, and most of the genotypic diversity was between rather than within populations. At the allele level, however, we found that a very high percentage of the diversity was within rather than between populations. The genotype is the key unit for maintaining the population of potato landraces. Our findings suggest that collections need to be both geographically extensive and intensive. Because farmers are able to maintain most alleles on relatively small portions of their land, in situ conservation is a viable strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1198
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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    BRUSH, STEPHEN., KESSELI, RICK., ORTEGA, RAMIRO., CISNEROS, PEDRO., ZIMMERER, KARL., & QUIROS, CARLOS. (1995). Potato Diversity in the Andean Center of Crop Domestication. Conservation Biology, 9(5), 1189-1198. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.1995.9051176.x-i1