Phylogenomic discovery of deleterious mutations facilitates hybrid potato breeding
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Hybrid potato breeding will transform the crop from a clonally propagated tetraploid to a seed-reproducing diploid. Historical accumulation of deleterious mutations in potato genomes has hindered the development of elite inbred lines and hybrids. Utilizing a whole-genome phylogeny of 92 Solanaceae and its sister clade species, we employ an evolutionary strategy to identify deleterious mutations. The deep phylogeny reveals the genome-wide landscape of highly constrained sites, comprising ∼2.4% of the genome. Based on a diploid potato diversity panel, we infer 367,499 deleterious variants, of which 50% occur at non-coding and 15% at synonymous sites. Counterintuitively, diploid lines with relatively high homozygous deleterious burden can be better starting material for inbred-line development, despite showing less vigorous growth. Inclusion of inferred deleterious mutations increases genomic-prediction accuracy for yield by 24.7%. Our study generates insights into the genome-wide incidence and properties of deleterious mutations and their far-reaching consequences for breeding.
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