Solyntus genome sequencing consortium

A growing collection of datasets, data-mining tools (under development) and genetic resources for the highly homozygous, relatively vigorous and self-compatible potato genotype Solyntus.

The first genome sequence of the potato genome is based on “DM”, a potato wild relative (S. phureja x S. stemototum), that is weakly growing and flowering, and hardly produces any tubers. This sequence was published eight years ago in 2011 (Nature 475, 189–194). This genome sequence has been quite useful to generate genetic markers and analyse genetic variation among and between Solanum species. The sequence has, despite its flaws and many scaffolds and gaps, been instrumental for the genetics, breeding and gene cloning research of the last years.

In 2008, the Dutch start-up company Solynta initiated hybrid breeding in potato by making its first cross between diploid potato and a self-compatible S. chacoense line. The first segregating population was grown in the field in 2010 (Lindhout and all., 2011). Most plants showed weak growth, poor flowering and did set only few tubers and berries. After several crosses, selections and many generations of selfings, highly homozygous inbred lines were generated. A process which was regularly followed up by using DNA markers.

In view of the draft genome sequence of DM which still had much room for improvement it was decided by Solynta and Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research jointly to sequence one of the more homozygous selections of the program of Solynta. This unique genotype, called Solyntus is the first potato (Solanum tuberosum) genotype, that is highly homozygous, relatively vigorous and self-compatible. Solyntus was sequenced using Oxford Nanopore reads supplemented with Illumina reads to generate an improved reference genome for the cultivated potato.