Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A reexamination of infraspecific taxa of a wild potato,Solanum microdontum (Solanum sect.Petota:Solanaceae)


Current taxonomic interpretations ofSolanum microdontum Bitter partition the species into two or three infraspecific taxa, variously recognized as subspecies or varieties. The present study reexamines these taxa using morphological data from four individuals each of 69 accessions from most of the range of the species, planted in a common field plot. Our results show that the character states used to recognize infraspecific taxa inS. microdontum often vary within accessions and have no correlation with geography. We conclude that past hypotheses have used typological concepts and that infraspecific taxa are not warranted. This study questions other hypotheses of infraspecific taxa in sect.Petota.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bitter, G., 1913: Solana nova vel minus cognita. XII. — Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg.12: 433–542.

  2. Hamilton, C. W., Reichard, S. H., 1992: Current practice in the use of subspecies, variety, and forma in the classification of wild plants. — Taxon (in press).

  3. Hanneman, R. E. Jr., 1990: The potato germplasm resource. — Amer. Potato J.66: 655–667.

  4. , 1986: Inventory of tuber-bearingSolanum species. — Wisconsin Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull.533: 1–216.

  5. Hawkes, J. G., 1958: Kartoffel. I. Taxonomy, cytology and crossability. — InKappert, H., Rudorf, W., (Eds): Handbuch der Pflanzenzüchtung3, pp. 1–43. 2nd edn. — Berlin: Paul Parey.

  6. , 1980: The taxonomy of cultivated plants and its importance in plant breeding research. — In Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Farnham, England: The taxonomy of cultivated plants and its importance in plant breeding research, pp. 49–66. — Oxford: Belhaven Press.

  7. , 1990: The potato: evolution, biodiversity and genetic resources. — London: Belhaven Press.

  8. , 1960: Some wild potato species from Argentina. — Phyton (Graz)9: 140–146.

  9. , 1969: The potatoes of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay: a biosystematic study. — Ann. Bot. Mem.3: 1–525.

  10. , 1989: The potatoes of Bolivia: their breeding value and evolutionary relationships. — Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  11. National Potato Council, 1990: Potato Statistical Yearbook. — Eaglewood, CO: National Potato Council.

  12. Ochoa, C. M., 1990 (June 13, 1991): The potatoes of South America: Bolivia. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  13. Okada, K. A., 1981: High frequency of triploids ofSolanum microdontum subsp.gigantophyllum on the western mountain ranges of Provinces La Rioja and Catamarca, Argentina. — Bull. Torrey Bot. Club108: 331–337.

  14. Plaisted, R., Hoopes, R. W., 1989: The past record and future prospects for the use of exotic potato germplasm. — Amer. Potato J.66: 603–627.

  15. Ross, H., 1986: Potato breeding-problems and perspectives. — InHorn, W., Robbelen, G., (Eds) J. Pl. Breed. Suppl.13. — Berlin: Paul Parey.

  16. SAS Institute Inc., 1988: SAS/STAT User's guide, Release 6.03 edition. — Cary, North Carolina: SAS Institute, Inc.

  17. Spooner, D. M., Bamberg, J. B., 1991: The inter-regional potato introduction project (IR-1), U.S. center for potato germplasm. — Diversity7 (4: 32–35.

  18. -van den Berg, R. G., 1992: An analysis of recent taxonomic concepts in wild potatoes (Solanum sect.Petota). — Gen. Res. Crop Evol. (in press).

  19. Stuessy, T. F., 1990: Plant taxonomy: the systematic evaluation of comparative data. — New York: Columbia University Press.

  20. Whalen, M. D., Sagastegui-A., A., Knapp, S., 1986: A new species ofSolanum sectionPetota (Solanaceae) from northern Peru. — Brittonia38: 9–12.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

van den Berg, R.G., Spooner, D.M. A reexamination of infraspecific taxa of a wild potato,Solanum microdontum (Solanum sect.Petota:Solanaceae). Pl Syst Evol 182, 239–252 (1992).

Download citation

Key words

  • Solanaceae
  • Solanum sect.Petota
  • Solanum microdontum
  • Potatoes
  • subspecies
  • systematics
  • varieties