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  • The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum L. The word "potato" may refer either to the plant itself or the edible tuber. In the Andes, where the species is indigenous, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region approximately four centuries ago, and have since become an integral part of much of the world's food supply. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice. Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas from the United States to southern Chile. The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved a single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia, where they were domesticated approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago. Following centuries of selective breeding, there are now over a thousand different types of potatoes. Wikipedia

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