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Solanum brevicaule

Common Name(s) Alcco papa, Apharuma, Atoc papa, Charca, C’kita papa, Ckascke, Jamach’i ch’ogue, Jamppatu papa, Llutu arac, Llutu papa, Papa de Perdiz, Papa de Zorro, Piscco papa
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Code brc
Synonyms S. alandiae, S. anomalocalyx, S. avilesii, S. boliviense subsp. virgultorum, S. brevimucronatum, S. candelarianum, S. famatinae, S. gourlayi, S. hondelmannii, S. hoopesii, S. incamayoense, S. lapazense, S. leptophyes, S. liriunianum, S. oplocense, S. pachytrichum, S. setulosistylum, S. sparsipilum, S. spegazzinii, S. subandigenum, S. sucrense, S. tuberosum subsp. sparsipilum, S. ugentii, S. vidaurrei, S. virgultorum
Clade 4
Series Tuberosa
Ploidy Diploid (2x), tetraploid (4x), hexaploid (6x)
EBN 2
Tuberization Photoperiod Short day
Self-compatible No
Genome
AA
Cytoplasm Type W (Hosaka 2009)
Citation
Bitter: Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11:390. 1912

Description

Solanum brevicaule distribution map
Solanum brevicaule distribution map

Solanum brevicaule (brevicaule, meaning short stemmed) is primarily distributed from southern Peru to central Bolivia.  Plants reach about two feet tall, occasionally up to three feet.  Stolons reach 3-4 feet long, perhaps as long as six feet in some cases (Ochoa 1990, as S. sparsipilum).  Tubers round to ovate, one to two inches long, larger in cultivation.  Flowers light blue to dark blue.  Berries round to ovate, typically speckled.  Found up to about the 13,000 foot elevation, but mostly lower.  Often grows in dry environments and has good drought resistance.

Solanum brevicaule is a geographically and morphologically diverse species.  Boundaries between it and its nearest relatives are uncertain.  Twenty species, including diploids, tetraploids, and hexaploids, are often lumped together in a “Solanum brevicaule Complex.”  Van den Berg (1998) and Alvarez (2008) performed comprehensive morphological studies of the species in the S. brevicaule Complex and found little basis for division into more than three species, but inconclusive evidence even for that.  The future probably holds additional taxonomic consolidation of S. brevicaule and its closest relatives.

S. brevicaule is probably not safe to eat, other than in very small amounts and perhaps not even then.  The lines that we have grown here and tasted have dry flesh and thick, chewy skin with a strong flavor characteristic of baking potatoes, but an intensely bitter aftertaste.

1650 seeds per gram.

Resistances

This species can survive frosts down to 26 degrees F (-3.5 C) (Li 1977, as S. fendleri).  Vega (1995) found that this species is more frost tolerant than domesticated potato.  It has a dormancy period lasting several months.

Condition Type Level of Resistance Source
Aphids Invertebrate Resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. palustre)
Aphids Invertebrate Not resistant to moderately resistant Alvarez 2006 (as S. hondelmannii and S. spegazzinii)
Colorado Potato Beetle Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Frost Abiotic Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Potato Cyst Nematode Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Potato Leafroll Virus Virus Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Potato Virus X Virus Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Potato Virus X Virus Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)
Potato Virus Y Virus Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Rhizoctonia solani Fungus Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990 (as S. leptophyes)
Root Knot Nematode Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. gourlayi)
Soft Rot / Blackleg Bacterium Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)
Tobacco Rattle Virus Virus Resistant Horvath 1989 (as S. alandiae)
Wart Fungus Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015 (as S. leptophyes)

Glykoalkaloid content

Johns (1990) found glykoalkaloid levels of 23mg/100g to 164mg/100g for eight accessions of S. brevicaule (some as S. sparsipilum).  The primary glycoalkaloids were solanine and chaconine. Van Gelder (1988) found TGA levels ranging from 95 to 175 mg / 100 g for S. brevicaule, 113 to 163 as S. gourlayi, 71 to 135 mg / 100g as S. leptophyes, 40 to 60 mg / 100 g as S. oplocense, 17 to 220 as S. spegazzinii, and 77 to 156 as S. sucrense.  Collapsing all the synonyms gives a total range of 17 to 220 mg / 100 g.  This is is a large range, with some flirting with edibility but many clearly in the danger zone.

Images

Solanum brevicaule tubers
Solanum brevicaule tubers
Solanum brevicaule tubers
Solanum brevicaule tubers
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule plant
Solanum brevicaule flowers
Solanum brevicaule flowers
Solanum brevicaule flower
Solanum brevicaule flower
Solanum brevicaule flowers and pollen
Solanum brevicaule flowers and pollen
Solanum brevicaule berries
Solanum brevicaule berries
Solanum brevicaule seeds
Solanum brevicaule seeds
   

Cultivation

I have found seeds of this species easy to germinate using the standard conditions for S. tuberosum, although sometimes slow.

Due to the length of the stolons, most growers will want to contain the plants in some way.  We grow wild potatoes with long stolons in buried fabric pots, which prevents them from getting out of control.  A 5 gallon fabric pot works well for most wild potatoes.

The USDA potato genebank has observed that some accessions of this species are dependent upon GA3 for germination (Bamberg 1999).

Bamberg (2017) found a 86% increase in seed set in this species with supplemental applications of liquid fertilizer at four and seven weeks after potting.

Breeding

Crosses with S. tuberosum

Female Male Berry Set
Seed Set Germ Ploidy Source
S. brevicaule S. tuberosum 2x Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. tuberosum 4x None None     Jackson (1999)
S. tuberosum S. brevicaule Low Minimal     Jackson (1999)

Crosses with other species

Jackson (1999) found 4-12% 2n pollen in varieties of this species.

Female Male Berry Set
Seed Set Germ Ploidy Source
S. acaule S. brevicaule High High     Ochoa 1990
S. berthaultii (as S. tarijense) S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. boliviense (as S. megistacrolobum) S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) Yes No     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. acaule Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. berthaultii High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. boliviense High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. candolleanum High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. chacoense Yes Yes     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. huancabambense High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. infundibuliforme Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. microdontum Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. leptophyes) S. neovavilovii Moderate Moderate     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule S. raphanifolium High High     Ochoa 1990
S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) S. raquialatum High High     Ochoa 1990
S. infundibuliforme S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) Low Low     Ochoa 1990
S. microdontum S. brevicaule (as S. alandiae) Low Low     Ochoa 1990

References

Solanum brevicaule at Solanaceae Source

Solanum brevicaule at GRIN Taxonomy

Solanum brevicaule at CIP

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