Genetic dissection of drought tolerance and recovery potential by quantitative trait locus mapping of a diploid potato population
Potato is the third most important staple food crop in terms of consumption, yet it is relatively susceptible to yield loss because of drought. As a first step towards improving drought tolerance in this crop, we set out to identify the genetic basis for drought tolerance in a diploid potato mapping population. Experiments were carried out under greenhouse conditions in two successive years by recording four physiological, seven growth and three yield parameters under stress and recovery treatments. Genotypes showed significant variation for drought and recovery responses. The traits measured had low to moderately high heritabilities (ranging from 22 to 74 %). A total of 47 quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified, of which 28 were drought-specific, 17 under recovery treatment and two under well-watered conditions. The majority of these growth and yield QTL co-localized with a QTL for maturity on chromosome 5. Four QTL for δ 13 C, three for chlorophyll content and one for chlorophyll fluorescence ( F v / F m ) were found to co-localize with yield and other growth trait QTL identified on other chromosomes. Several multi-year and multi-treatment QTL were detected and QTL × environment interaction was found for δ 13 C. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive QTL study on water deficit and recovery potential in potato.