Seminarios IHSM La Mayora - Korbinian Schneeberger (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, LMU)

Potato originated in the Americas and was only brought to Europe a few hundred years back. Different climate conditions and biotic stresses further reduced the genetic diversity in Europe. As potato breeding in Europe was and is mostly based on intercrossing available germplasm, Europe potato is expected to have limited genetic diversity as it is common amoung domesticated crops. However almost all genomic studies of Europea potato reported on extremely high sequence divergence within tetraploid potatoes - which was even larger than in almost all species studied to date. To understand this unexpected contradition, we have used latest genomic technologies to assemble the genome sequences of multiple founder lines of European potato breeding programmes including lines from the 18th century. In my talk I will show how these sequences help us to shed light into the intriguing and challenging make up of the potato genome and how the high sequence divergence can be explained despite a series of severe bottlenecks in history of European potatoes.