Somatic cell genetics and its application in potato breeding
This chapter presents a summary of published work on the development, achievements and interconnections of research on potato somatic cell genetics. To maintain genetic stability the main topics include the establishment and maintenance of in vitro cultures, micropropagation, shoot and meristem culture, somatic embryogenesis, production of micro- and mini-tubers and conservation of germplasm. In the second section, the methods presented are based on the induction and utilization of genetic variability (diversity): production of haploids, somatic hybridization via protoplast fusion, somaclonal variation and gene transfer. Another significant aspect of this review is the presentation of numerous methods used in clonal propagation, the production of healthy plants, germplasm conservation for medium-term and long-term storage, potato breeding and utilization of germplasm for the production of advanced breeding clones and potato cultivars with improved resistance to pathogens, pests and abiotic stress, and of high quality and with other specific traits for other purposes. Finally, new methods of breeding, including molecular marker development and genome editing, are briefly described to indicate the potential of somatic cell genetics for the future improvement of potato.