The goal of germplasm enhancement is to introgress traits from wild crop relatives into cultivated material and eventually cultivars. It seeks to restore genetic diversity that has been lost over time or to augment cultivated material with novel alleles that improve parents in breeding programs. This paper discusses potato germplasm enhancement efforts in the past, focusing on effective examples such as disease resistance and processing quality. In addition, it outlines new strategies for enhancement efforts, shifting the focus from evaluating phenotypes to tracking and manipulating specific DNA sequences. In the genomics era, germplasm enhancement will increasingly be focused on identifying and introgressing alleles rather than traits. Alleles will come from a broad pool of genetic resources that includes wild species relatives of potato, landraces, cultivated potato itself, and distantly related species. Genomics tools will greatly increase the efficiency of introgressing multigenic traits, and will make it possible to identify rare alleles and utilize recessive alleles.
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