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Solanum chacoense

Common Name(s) Ahuara papa, Papa ra, Para papa, Papa de zorro
Code chc
Synonyms S. arnezii, S. bitteri, S. boergeri, S. calvescens, S. emmeae, S. garciae, S. gibberulosum, S. guaraniticum, S. horovitzii, S. jujuyense, S. knappei, S. laplaticum, S. muelleri, S. parodi, S. saltense, S. schickii, S. subtilius, S. yungasense
Clade 4
Series Yungasense
Ploidy Diploid (2x), less commonly triploid (3x)
Self-compatible Not usually, some exceptions
Cytoplasm Type W


Solanum chacoense is a very diverse and widely spread species, ranging from Peru south and east into Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil, where it grows from sea level up to about 6500 feet (2000 m).  Plants are typically between 1 and 2 feet tall, with narrow strongly pointed leaves.  It grows in a wide variety of habitats and is common weed of cultivated ground as well.  Tubers are typically small, mostly less than an inch, occasionally reaching as much as three inches.  They are usually white to tan in color, less commonly blue, usually with prominent lenticels.

Some accessions of S. chacoense deter the feeding of Colorado potato beetle and many other insects due to leptines (acylated glycoalkaloids) in the foliage.  Leptines are not common in S. chacoense and so far have not been found at all in other potato species (Sinden 1986).  Leptines were not found to accumulate in the tubers even when allowed to green (Sinden 1986b).  Sinden (1980) found the least damage from Colorado potato beetle in varieties that had forms of commersonine as their primary glucoalkaloids.

Although most South American wild potato species are short day tuberizers, some accessions of S. chacoense are able to tuberize under long days.

This species can survive frosts down to 26 degrees F (-3.5 C) (Li 1977).

Condition Level of Resistance Source
Late Blight Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Wart Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Scab Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Bacterial Wilt Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Soft Rot / Blackleg Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Potato Virus X Somewhat resistant Lebedeva 1978, Machida-Hirano 2015
Potato Virus Y Somewhat resistant, Resistant Ross 1950, Ross 1958, Ochoa 1990Chung 2011, Machida-Hirano 2015
Colorado Potato Beetle Somewhat resistant Stelzner 1943, Schaper 1953, Torka 1943, Machida-Hirano 2015
Root Knot Nematode Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Frost Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Heat Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Drought Somewhat resistant Machida-Hirano 2015
Aphids Somewhat resistant Adams 1946
Potato Leafroll Virus Somewhat resistant Ross 1950, Ross 1958, Ochoa 1990
Synchytrium endobioticum Somewhat resistant Ross 1958
Corynebacterium sepedonicum Somewhat resistant Ross 1958
Empoasca fabae Somewhat resistant Sleesman 1940
Pseudomonas solanacearum Resistant Ochoa 1990
Globodera pallida Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990
Phthorimaea operculella Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990
L. huidobrensis Somewhat resistant Ochoa 1990
Verticillium wilt Somewhat resistant Lynch 1997

Glykoalkaloid content

The glycoalkaloid composition of S. chacoense varies considerably between accessions.  Sinden (1980), found six different glycoalkaloid profiles for this species: commersonine; solanine; dyhydrocommersonine; leptines and commersonine; solanine and chaconine; dihydrosolanine and dihydrochaconine; and leptines with dihydrosolanine and dihydrochaconine.   Sinden (1986b) found TGA levels ranging from 134 to 279 mg / 100 g across three clones of S. chacoense.




Bamberg (2017) found a 306% increase in seed set in this species with supplemental applications of liquid fertilizer at four and seven weeks after potting.

I recommend isolating S. chacoense from domesticated diploids by at least 40 feet if you will be saving seed.  This species appears to be a very effective pollinator and progeny of crosses with diploid S. tuberosum are mostly bitter.

S. chacoense has shown a significant ability to naturalize and become weedy in foreign environments (Simon 2010).  Care should be taken to prevent this species from escaping and growing unmanageably, a precaution that should be taken with all wild potato species until you have experience with them.  There is a lot of rainfall in most of its native range, but it appears to tolerate drought very well.


Lynch (1997) identified a dominant, single gene source of Verticillium resistance in some accessions of S. chacoense.  This could likely be crossed into S. tuberosum without too much difficulty.

Ochoa (1990) reported that the pollen fertility of triploid S. chacoense (as S. yungasense) was 45-50%, a surprisingly high value for a triploid.

Crosses with S. tuberosum

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source
4x S. tuberosum S. chacoense Low Low     Jackson (1999)
S. chacoense 4x S. tuberosum None None     Jackson (1999)
2x S. tuberosum S. chacoense Yes Yes     Ochoa (1990)
S. chacoense 2x S. tuberosum Yes Yes     Ochoa (1990)

Crosses with other species

Jackson (1999) found 2-11% 2n pollen for this species.

Female Male Berry Set Seed Set Germination Ploidy Source
S. chacoense S. berthaultii High High     Ochoa (1990)
S. chacoense S. brevicaule (as S. vidaurrei) Yes Yes     Ochoa (1990)


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