Dobson, G., Shepherd, L.V.T., Verrall, S.R., Griffiths, D.W., Ramsay, G., McNicol, J.W., Davies, H.V. and Stewart, D.
||Phytochemical diversity was examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in tubers of genotypes belonging to groups Andigena, Phureja, Stenotomum, and Tuberosum of the potato, Solanum tuberosum. Polar extracts (mainly amino acids, organic acids, sugars, and sugar alcohols) and nonpolar extracts (mainly fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and sterols) were examined. There was a large range in levels of metabolites, including those such as asparagine, fructose, and glucose, that are important to tuber quality, offering considerable scope for selecting germplasm for breeding programmes. There were significant differences in the levels of many metabolites among the groups. The metabolite profiles of genotypes belonging to Phureja and Stenotomum were similar and different from those of Tuberosum and the majority of Andigena genotypes. There was some agreement with the phylogeny of the groups in that Stenotomum is believed to be the ancestor of Phureja and they are both distinct from Tuberosum. Andigena genotypes could be partially distinguished according to geographical origin, Bolivian genotypes being particularly distinct from those from Ecuador. Biosynthetic links between metabolites were explored by performing pairwise correlations of all metabolites. The significance of some expected and unexpected strong correlations between many amino acids (e.g., between isoleucine, lysine, valine, and other amino acids) and between several nonpolar metabolites (e.g., between many fatty acids) is discussed. For polar metabolites, correlation analysis gave essentially similar results irrespective of whether the whole data set, only Andigena genotypes, or only Phureja genotypes were used. In contrast, for the nonpolar metabolites, Andigena only and Phureja only data sets resulted in weaker and stronger correlations, respectively, compared to the whole data set, and may suggest differences in the biochemistry of the two groups, although the interpretation should be viewed with some caution.