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Solanum bulbocastanum

Description

Solanum bulbocastanum distribution map
Solanum bulbocastanum distribution map

Solanum bulbocastanum (bulbocastanum presumably means something like “chestnut tuber”) is a widespread species ranging from northern Mexico south to Guatemala and Honduras, growing under both dryland and woodland conditions.  Plants reach about three feet tall.  Simple leaves.  Flowers white to light yellow.  Round berries.

Subramanian (2017) found that different accessions of this species had both unusually low and unusually high calcium content.  They were also unusually high in dry matter content.

Resistances

Bethke (2017) scored wild potato species as a composite of seven resistance studies and S. bulbocastanum ranked in first place by a significant margin.

This species can survive frosts down to 27 degrees F (-3 C) (Li 1977).  Vega (1995) found that this species is less frost tolerant than domesticated potato.  It has the greatest resistance to potato virus Y among wild potatoes (Chung 2011).

Three major late blight resistance genes have been identified in this species: Rpi-blb1, Rpi-blb2, and RB.

Condition Type Level of Resistance Source
Aphids Invertebrate Resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Aphids Invertebrate Not resistant Alvarez 2006
Bacterial Wilt Bacterium Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Columbia root knot nematode Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Brown 1989, Graebner 2018b
Drought Abiotic Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Early Blight Fungus Resistant Prasad 1980
Early Blight Fungus Somewhat resistant Jansky 2008
Heat Abiotic Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Late Blight Fungus Resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Late Blight Fungus Resistant Bachmann-Pfabe 2019
Potato Cyst Nematode Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Potato Cyst Nematode (G. pallida) Invertebrate Not resistant Bachmann-Pfabe 2019
Potato Virus Y Virus Somewhat resistant Cai 2011
Root Knot Nematode Invertebrate Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Soft Rot / Blackleg Bacterium Somewhat resistant Chung 2011, Machida-Hirano 2015
Wart Fungus Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015

Glykoalkaloid content

There is very little information available about glycoalkaloids in this species.  Gregory (1981) tested foliage and found very low glycoalkaloid content and no detectible solanine or chaconine in the single accession that they tested.  Foliage normally has much higher glycoalkaloid content than tubers, so this suggests that the tubers are probably low as well, but that is just a supposition.  I have tasted tubers from several accessions and found a range from non-bitter to immediately and punishingly bitter.

Images

Solanum bulbocastanum plant
Solanum bulbocastanum plant
Solanum bulbocastanum plant
Solanum bulbocastanum plant
Solanum bulbocastanum flowers
Solanum bulbocastanum flowers
Berries of the wild potato species Solanum bulbocastanum
Solanum bulbocastanum berries
Berries of the wild potato species Solanum bulbocastanum
Solanum bulbocastanum berries
Tubers of the wild potato species Solanum bulbocastanum
Solanum bulbocastanum tubers (typical size)
Tubers of the wild potato species Solanum bulbocastanum
Solanum bulbocastanum tubers (large selection)
 
       

Cultivation

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

Towill (1983) found that seeds of this species stored at 1 to 3 degrees C germinated at 76% after 21 years.

Bamberg (2018) found that alternating temperatures decreased germination in this species.

Breeding

Crosses with S. tuberosum

Female Male Berry Set
Seed Set Germ Ploidy Source
S. bulbocastanum S. tuberosum 4x None None     Jackson (1999)
S. tuberosum 4x S.bulbocastanum None None     Jackson (1999)
             

Crosses with other species

Watanabe (1991) found that 5.9% of varieties of this species produced 2n pollen and Jackson (1999) found 2-4%, which would be effectively tetraploid and 2EBN.  S. bulbocastanum x S. cardiophyllum hybrids produced 2n pollen in 9.1% of plants.

Matsubayashi (1977) examined chromosome pairing in hybrids and determined that crosses between S. bulbocastanum and S. jamesii or S. x sambucinum were successful but with irregular chromosome pairing and poor pollen fertility.

Female Male Berry Set
Seed Set Germ Ploidy Source
S. jamesii S. bulbocastanum Yes Yes   2x Matsubayashi 1977
S. x sambucinum S. bulbocastanum Yes Yes   2x Matsubayashi 1977

References

Solanum bulbocastanum at Solanaceae Source

Solanum bulbocastanum at GRIN Taxonomy

Solanum bulbocastanum at CIP