|Title||Carbon partitioning mechanisms in POTATO under drought stress|
|Author(s)||Aliche, Ernest B.; Theeuwen, Tom P.J.M.; Oortwijn, Marian; Visser, Richard G.F.; Linden, Gerard van der|
|Source||Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 146 (2020). - ISSN 0981-9428 - p. 211 - 219.|
Laboratory of Genetics
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Carbon partitioning - Drought - Gene expression - Potato - Sugar metabolism|
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an important food crop consumed all over the world, but it is generally sensitive to drought conditions. One of the major physiological processes affected by drought stress is carbon partitioning: the plant's choice of where to allocate its photoassimilates. Our aim was to investigate the molecular factors and possible bottlenecks affecting carbon partitioning during drought. We studied potato cultivars with contrasting drought responses in the greenhouse in the years 2013–2015, and further investigated the expression of genes involved in carbon partitioning and metabolite levels. Our results indicate that one of the most severe effects of drought stress on potato is the arrest of stolon differentiation and formation of tubers. We also identified some physiological traits like stomatal conductance and chlorophyll content as affecting carbon assimilation, partitioning and eventual tuber yield. The gene expressions and biochemical analyses highlight the various tissues prioritized by the plant for assimilate transport during drought stress, and give indications of what distinguishes drought tolerance and sensitivity of cultivated potato. Some of the key genes studied (like Sucrose synthase and Sucrose transporters) may be inclusive breeding targets for drought tolerance in potato.