Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Synergy or trade-off? A framework and application to benchmark yield, quality and revenue of potato production
Wang, N. ; Reidsma, P. ; Wang, Z.Q. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2019
Field Crops Research 240 (2019). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 116 - 124.
Potato - Quality - Revenue - Trade-off - Yield - Yield gap analysis

The concept of yield gap is well-known to benchmark yields of crops. However, quality is another major aspect that influences farm revenues and drives management. Increasing yield may not be economically viable if this is at the expense of degrading quality such that revenue is negatively influenced. This study aimed to answer the question whether yield and quality could be maximized at the same time. A framework was developed to assess crop performance based on yield, quality, and revenue. The framework includes seven steps from identifying the important quality traits to quantifying quality gaps and yield gaps and their influence on revenue. The framework enriches the yield gap notion by adding quality aspects. The concept of optimum quality (Qp) was introduced as the quality value (range) of a particular quality trait that is most desired for a specific market. The framework was applied to a case study concerning potato production for a French Fries factory in China. Three quality traits of potato were assessed (i.e., dry matter percentage, tuber size classes, and number of tubers in 10 kg). No trade-off between yield and quality was found for the tested quality traits. The results indicated that there was large scope to improve quality for some of the quality traits. The relative revenue gap (Eg-f) was large (43%), and was attributed to both the relative yield gap (Yg-f, 26%), and quality aspects (i.e., low dry matter percentage and high small tuber weight percentage). Enhancing yield towards its current maximum level (55 ton fresh matter ha−1) was associated with improvement in quality and revenue.

High light accelerates potato flowering independently of the FT-like flowering signal StSP3D
Plantenga, Faline D.M. ; Bergonzi, Sara ; Bachem, Christian W.B. ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Heuvelink, Ep ; Marcelis, Leo F.M. - \ 2019
Environmental and Experimental Botany 160 (2019). - ISSN 0098-8472 - p. 35 - 44.
Daily light integral (DLI) - Flowering - Potato - StSP3D - StTPS1 - Sucrose

Little is known on the environmental control of potato flowering. With recent developments in potato breeding, and the growing interest in true potato seed production, more knowledge on potato flowering is required. This research aims to elucidate the effect of the daily light integral (DLI: the accumulated light throughout a day) on potato flower initiation time and investigate which mechanisms underlie this control. We grew potato plants in climate chambers to compare flower initiation under different DLIs in short and long days. We measured the time until the first appearance of the flower buds and the number of leaves formed before the inflorescence. Furthermore, gene expression changes of the potato flowering time gene StSP3D were measured, and potato plants silenced in StSP3D were used to determine whether DLI mediated flowering time was regulated through StSP3D. Additionally, we determined sucrose and starch concentrations and measured the transcription levels of StTPS1, a gene involved in sugar mediated flowering control. Increasing DLI clearly accelerated flowering in potato. The role of carbohydrates (sucrose and starch) and StTPS1 in DLI-accelerated flowering was inconclusive. Although StSP3D was upregulated under high DLI, transgenic lines silenced in StSP3D also showed accelerated flowering under higher DLIs. We therefore conclude that high DLI accelerates potato flowering and this acceleration happens independently of StSP3D upregulation.

Multi-allelic QTL analysis of protein content in a bi-parental population of cultivated tetraploid potato
Klaassen, Michiel T. ; Bourke, Peter M. ; Maliepaard, Chris ; Trindade, Luisa M. - \ 2019
Euphytica 215 (2019)2. - ISSN 0014-2336
Alleles - Haplotypes - Potato - Protein content - QTL analysis - Tetraploid

Protein content is a key quality trait for the potato starch industry. The objective of this study was to identify allele-specific quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for tuber protein content in cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) at the tetraploid level. We analysed 496 full-sib F1 clones in a 3-year field trial to dissect the complex genetic architecture of soluble tuber protein content. Genotypic data from a 60K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array was used for SNP dosage scoring, constructing homologue specific linkage maps and assembly of a dense integrated chromosomal linkage map. From the integrated map, probabilistic multi-locus identity-by-descent (IBD) haplotypes (alleles) were estimated and used to detect associations between the IBD haplotypes and the phenotypic trait values. Moderate levels of trait heritability were estimated between 40 and 74% that correspond with previous studies. Our contemporary naive analysis identified potential additive QTLs on chromosomes 2, 3, 5 (top arm) and 9 across the years. Moreover, cofactor QTL analysis identified two masked QTLs on chromosomes 1 and 5 (lower arm). The QTLs on chromosomes 2, 5 (lower arm) and 9 are reported here for the first time. The QTLs that we identified on chromosomes 1, 3 and 5 (top arm) show overlap with previous studies for protein content in potato. Collectively the naive QTLs explained 12 to 17% of the phenotypic variance. The underlying alleles of the QTLs provided both positive and negative effects on the phenotype. Our work uncovers the complex genetic architecture of this trait and describes potential breeding strategies for improvement. As protein has emerged as a high-value component from industrial potato starch production, the dissection of the genetic architecture and subsequent improvement of this trait by breeding has great economic and environmental relevance.

Potatoes and livelihoods in Chencha, southern Ethiopia
Tadesse, Yenenesh ; Almekinders, Conny J.M. ; Schulte, Rogier P.O. ; Struik, Paul C. - \ 2019
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 88 (2019). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 105 - 111.
Agronomy - Asset - Consumption pattern - Food security - Log-linear analysis - Potato - Production - Wealth category

Potato is highly productive crop and can provide a cheap and nutritionally-rich staple food. Its potential as a cash generator and source of food is much under-utilized in many emerging economies. In this paper we study the impact of an intervention that introduced improved potato technologies in Chencha, Ethiopia on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. We collected information through in-depth interviews in order to explore possible pathways of impact on farmers’ livelihoods; and used this information as the basis for designing a household survey. The results show changes in agronomic practices and consumption; these changes were most pronounced among wealthy farmers who participated in the intervention. Farmers used the additional income from potato in different ways: wealthier farmers improved their houses and increased their livestock, whereas poor farmers mainly invested in furniture, cooking utensils, tools and in developing small businesses like selling and buying cereals, milk and weaving products in the local markets. Some wealthy farmers, who did not participate in the project, also derived some indirect benefits from the intervention. This underscores: i) interventions that promote uniform farming technologies in themselves are not always sufficient to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers, and ii) the need to broaden the scope of interventions so as to take into account the resources available to farmers in different wealth categories, and the diversity of strategies that they employ for improving their livelihoods. Our approach allows to understand and describe the different developmental effects of a single technological intervention on the different aspects of farmers’ livelihoods.

Evidence for selection pressure from resistant potato genotypes but not from fungicide application within a clonal Phytophthora infestans population
Stellingwerf, J.S. ; Phelan, S. ; Doohan, F.M. ; Ortiz, V. ; Griffin, D. ; Bourke, A. ; Hutten, R.C.B. ; Cooke, D.E.L. ; Kildea, S. ; Mullins, E. - \ 2018
Plant Pathology 67 (2018)7. - ISSN 0032-0862 - p. 1528 - 1538.
Host resistance - Phytophthora infestans - Population genetics - Potato - SSR genotyping
Insight into pathogen population dynamics provides a key input for effective disease management of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Phytophthora infestans populations vary from genetically complex to more simple with a few clonal lineages. The presence or absence of certain strains of P. infestans may impact the efficacy of fungicides or host resistance. Current evidence indicates that genetically, the Irish populations of P. infestans are relatively simple with a few clonal lineages. In this study, P. infestans populations were genetically characterized based on samples collected at the national centre for potato breeding during the period 2012-16. The dominance of clonal lineages within this P. infestans population was confirmed and the potential selection pressure of fungicide treatment (2013-15) and host resistance (2016) on this clonal P. infestans population was then investigated. It was found that fungicide products did not notably affect the genetic structure of sampled populations relative to samples from untreated control plants. In contrast, samples taken from several resistant potato genotypes were found to be more often of the EU_13_A2 lineage than those taken from control King Edward plants or potato genotypes with low resistance ratings. Resistant potato varieties Sarpo Mira and Bionica, containing characterized R genes, were found to strongly select for EU_13_A2 strains.
Diagnosis of management of bacterial wilt and late blight in potato in Ethiopia : A systems thinking perspective
Damtew, E. ; Tafesse, Shiferaw ; Lie, R. ; Mierlo, B. van; Lemaga, B. ; Sharma, K. ; Struik, P.C. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2018
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 86-87 (2018). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 12 - 24.
Bacterial wilt - Complex problems - Disease management - Late blight - Potato - Systems thinking
Potato is one of the most important food crops for smallholder farmers in the Ethiopian highlands. Diseases, particularly bacterial wilt (caused by Ralstonia solanacearum) and late blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans), are among the major constraints of potato production, despite continuous efforts to control them. Bacterial wilt and late blight are complex problems with multiple technical and institutional features, involving multiple actors with different perceptions and understanding, not only of the problem but also of possible solutions. Appreciating such complexity, this study adopted a systems thinking perspective. It aimed to explore actors’ understanding of the complex problem situation and its implication for the management of the diseases at a collective level. Using a multi-stakeholder workshop and in-depth interviews, a qualitative study was conducted with actors that are directly or indirectly involved in the management of the two diseases. Results showed that actors essentially overlooked key systemic problems in the management of the two diseases. This is mainly reflected in actors’ tendency to give event-level responses, shift responsibilities and engage in a mutual blaming to the problem of bacterial wilt and late blight. Lack of a preventive disease management culture, limited recognition of interdependencies among activities of actors, power inequalities, and top-down and linear approaches in information and knowledge sharing are identified as key structural problems that are underrated by the actors. We contend that the most appropriate way forward towards the management of both diseases is designing and implementing management strategies that, on the one hand, are preventive of disease epidemics, and, on the other hand, foster horizontal information sharing, learning and collective action among the local actors in the system. Digital platforms, particularly mobile-based technologies, can play a role in catalyzing new forms of information sharing, broader learning, and collaboration among farmers and local actors.
Two different R gene loci co-evolved with Avr2 of Phytophthora infestans and confer distinct resistance specificities in potato
Aguilera-Galvez, C. ; Champouret, N. ; Rietman, H. ; Lin, X. ; Wouters, D. ; Chu, Z. ; Jones, J.D.G. ; Vossen, J.H. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Wolters, P.J. ; Vleeshouwers, V.G.A.A. - \ 2018
Studies in Mycology 89 (2018). - ISSN 0166-0616 - p. 105 - 115.
Avr gene - Co-evolution - Late blight - Phytophthora infestans - Potato - R gene - Resistance - Solanum
Late blight, caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans, is the most devastating disease in potato. For sustainable management of this economically important disease, resistance breeding relies on the availability of resistance (R) genes. Such R genes against P. infestans have evolved in wild tuber-bearing Solanum species from North, Central and South America, upon co-evolution with cognate avirulence (Avr) genes. Here, we report how effectoromics screens with Avr2 of P. infestans revealed defense responses in diverse Solanum species that are native to Mexico and Peru. We found that the response to AVR2 in the Mexican Solanum species is mediated by R genes of the R2 family that resides on a major late blight locus on chromosome IV. In contrast, the response to AVR2 in Peruvian Solanum species is mediated by Rpi-mcq1, which resides on chromosome IX and does not belong to the R2 family. The data indicate that AVR2 recognition has evolved independently on two genetic loci in Mexican and Peruvian Solanum species, respectively. Detached leaf tests on potato cultivar ‘Désirée’ transformed with R genes from either the R2 or the Rpi-mcq1 locus revealed an overlapping, but distinct resistance profile to a panel of 18 diverse P. infestans isolates. The achieved insights in the molecular R – Avr gene interaction can lead to more educated exploitation of R genes and maximize the potential of generating more broad-spectrum, and potentially more durable control of the late blight disease in potato.
Reduced efficacy of fluazinam against Phytophthora infestans in the Netherlands
Schepers, H.T.A.M. ; Kessel, G.J.T. ; Lucca, F. ; Förch, M.G. ; Den Bosch, G.B.M. van; Topper, C.G. ; Evenhuis, A. - \ 2018
European Journal of Plant Pathology 151 (2018)4. - ISSN 0929-1873 - p. 947 - 960.
AUDPC - Clonal lineage - Control strategy - Fungicides - Late blight - Potato - Shirlan
Phytophthora infestans is the causal organism of potato late blight, the most important disease in potato, the second most important arable crop in Europe. The P. infestans population in Europe is well known for its sudden changes in composition. Currently it is composed of a wide variety of genotypes, some of which are dominant clonal lines while others are rare or even unique to a year or location. Fungicides play a crucial role in the integrated control of late blight. Since its introduction in the Netherlands in 1992, fluazinam has been used in late blight control strategies in ware and starch potatoes. It has a broad spectrum of activity and is effective against a range of diseases including potato late blight. Fluazinam interrupts the pathogen cell’s energy production process by an uncoupling effect on oxidative phosphorylation. It is considered to have a low resistance risk. Until recently, reduced efficacy against fluazinam was not detected in P. infestans surveys in Europe. In this paper we present the finding of a new clonal lineage (EU_33_A2) of P. infestans in the Netherlands and the reduced efficacy of fluazinam to control one of the EU_33_A2 isolates in field experiments carried out in 2011 and 2015 under high disease pressure. The potential effects of this finding on practical late blight control strategies are discussed.
Folate Biofortification of Potato by Tuber-Specific Expression of Four Folate Biosynthesis Genes
Lepeleire, Jolien De; Strobbe, Simon ; Verstraete, Jana ; Blancquaert, Dieter ; Ambach, Lars ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Stove, Christophe ; Straeten, Dominique Van Der - \ 2018
Molecular Plant 11 (2018)1. - ISSN 1674-2052 - p. 175 - 188.
Biofortification - Folate - Malnutrition - Metabolic engineering - Potato - Vitamin B9
Insufficient dietary intake of micronutrients, known as "hidden hunger", is a devastating global burden, affecting two billion people. Deficiency of folates (vitamin B9), which are known to play a central role in C1 metabolism, causes birth defects in at least a quarter million people annually. Biofortification to enhance the level of naturally occurring folates in crop plants, proves to be an efficient and cost-effective tool in fighting folate deficiency. Previously, introduction of folate biosynthesis genes GTPCHI and ADCS, proven to be a successful biofortification strategy in rice and tomato, turned out to be insufficient to adequately increase folate levels in potato tubers. Here, we provide a proof of concept that additional introduction of HPPK/DHPS and/or FPGS, downstream genes in mitochondrial folate biosynthesis, enables augmentation of folates to satisfactory levels (12-fold) and ensures folate stability upon long-term storage of tubers. In conclusion, this engineering strategy can serve as a model in the creation of folate-accumulating potato cultivars, readily applicable in potato-consuming populations suffering from folate deficiency. Biosynthesis of folates (vitamin B9) in plants originates in the cytosol and in plastids and is finalized in mitochondria, yielding polyglutamylated folate species. Engineering of the limiting steps in the cytosolic and plastidial branches, a successful strategy for biofortification of rice kernels and tomato fruit, provided unsatisfactory results upon implementation in potato tubers. Here, additional engineering of the first and final steps in the mitochondrial branch of folate biosynthesis, HPPK/DHPS and FPGS respectively, resulted in adequate enhancement of folate levels in potato tubers, yielding a 12-fold increase. This presents a valuable tool in fighting the global burden of folate malnutrition.
Physical mapping of QTL for tuber yield, starch content and starch yield in tetraploid potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) by means of genome wide genotyping by sequencing and the 8.3 K SolCAP SNP array
Schönhals, Elske Maria ; Ding, Jia ; Ritter, Enrique ; Caldas Paulo, M.J. ; Cara, Nicolás ; Tacke, Eckhard ; Hofferbert, Hans Reinhardt ; Lübeck, Jens ; Strahwald, Josef ; Gebhardt, Christiane - \ 2017
Potato - Solanum tuberosum - tuber - yield - starch content - complex trait - genome wide genotyping - SNP - GWAS - candidate gene
Background Tuber yield and starch content of the cultivated potato are complex traits of decisive importance for breeding improved varieties. Natural variation of tuber yield and starch content depends on the environment and on multiple, mostly unknown genetic factors. Dissection and molecular identification of the genes and their natural allelic variants controlling these complex traits will lead to the development of diagnostic DNA-based markers, by which precision and efficiency of selection can be increased (precision breeding). Results Three case-control populations were assembled from tetraploid potato cultivars based on maximizing the differences between high and low tuber yield (TY), starch content (TSC) and starch yield (TSY, arithmetic product of TY and TSC). The case-control populations were genotyped by restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) and the 8.3 k SolCAP SNP genotyping array. The allele frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were compared between cases and controls. RADseq identified, depending on data filtering criteria, between 6664 and 450 genes with one or more differential SNPs for one, two or all three traits. Differential SNPs in 275 genes were detected using the SolCAP array. A genome wide association study using the SolCAP array on an independent, unselected population identified SNPs associated with tuber starch content in 117 genes. Physical mapping of the genes containing differential or associated SNPs, and comparisons between the two genome wide genotyping methods and two different populations identified genome segments on all twelve potato chromosomes harboring one or more quantitative trait loci (QTL) for TY, TSC and TSY. Conclusions Several hundred genes control tuber yield and starch content in potato. They are unequally distributed on all potato chromosomes, forming clusters between 0.5–4 Mbp width. The largest fraction of these genes had unknown function, followed by genes with putative signalling and regulatory functions. The genetic control of tuber yield and starch content is interlinked. Most differential SNPs affecting both traits had antagonistic effects: The allele increasing TY decreased TSC and vice versa. Exceptions were 89 SNP alleles which had synergistic effects on TY, TSC and TSY. These and the corresponding genes are primary targets for developing diagnostic markers.
Can precision agriculture increase the profitability and sustainability of the production of potatoes and olives?
Evert, Frits K. van; Gaitán-Cremaschi, Daniel ; Fountas, Spyros ; Kempenaar, Corné - \ 2017
Sustainability 9 (2017)10. - ISSN 2071-1050
Olive - Potato - Social profit - Variable rate application
For farmers, the application of Precision Agriculture (PA) technology is expected to lead to an increase in profitability. For society, PA is expected to lead to increased sustainability.The objective of this paper is to determine for a number of common PA practices how much they increase profitability and sustainability. For potato production in The Netherlands, we considered variable rate application (VRA) of soil herbicide, fungicide for late blight control, sidedress N, and haulm killing herbicide. For olive production in Greece, we considered spatially variable application of P and K fertilizer and lime. For each of the above scenarios, we quantified the value of outputs, the cost of inputs, and the environmental costs. This allowed us to calculate profit as well as social profit, where the latter is defined as revenues minus conventional costs minus the external costs of production. Social profit can be considered an overall measure of sustainability. Our calculations show that PA in potatoes increases profit by 21% (420 € ha-1) and social profit by 26%. In olives, VRA application of P, K, and lime leads to a strong reduction in nutrient use and although this leads to an increase in sustainability, it has only a small effect on profit and on social profit. In conclusion, PA increases sustainability in olives and both profitability and sustainability in potatoes.
Chemical Eradication of the Ring Rot Bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus on Potato Storage Crates
Stevens, L.H. ; Lamers, J.G. ; Zouwen, P.S. van der; Mendes, O. ; Berg, W. van den; Tjou-Tam-Sin, N.N.A. ; Jilesen, C.J.T.J. ; Spoorenberg, P.M. ; Wolf, J.M. van der - \ 2017
Potato Research 60 (2017)2. - ISSN 0014-3065 - p. 145 - 158.
Bacterium - Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus - Disinfection - Potato - Quarantine organism - Sodium-p-toluenesulfochloramide

Four commercially available disinfection products were tested for their efficacy against Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus (Cms), causative agent of bacterial ring rot, on wooden potato storage crates. Each of these products represented a different class of biocide, i.e. organic acids (benzoic acid), peroxygenous compounds (potassium peroxysulfate), quaternary ammonium compounds (didecyldimethylammoniumchloride) and hypochlorite-generating compounds (sodium-p-toluenesulfochloramide). The target objects consisted of small wooden panels that were smeared with potato tuber pulp homogenized with a high inoculum of Cms. By dipping the inoculated panels into the product solutions and subsequent determination of the densities of colony-forming units, the relative efficacy of the products was established. The two products that exhibited the highest relative efficacy were studied for their disinfection performance when applied as cleaning agent in a conventional automated crate washer. The results showed that jet cleaning in a crate washer for 2 min using the authorised dose of the product containing sodium-p-toluenesulfochloramide is an effective method for disinfecting Cms-contaminated wooden potato crates.

Collinearity between potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and wild relatives assessed by comparative cytogenetic mapping
Gaiero Guadagina, Paola ; De Belt, José Van; Vilaró, Francisco ; Schranz, M.E. ; Speranza, Pablo ; Jong, Hans de - \ 2017
Genome 60 (2017)3. - ISSN 0831-2796 - p. 228 - 240.
Introgressive hybridisation - Macrosynteny - Multicolour BAC-FISH - Potato - Solanum chacoense - Solanum commersonii
A major bottleneck to introgressive hybridization is the lack of genome collinearity between the donor (alien) genome and the recipient crop genome. Structural differences between the homeologs may create unbalanced segregation of chromosomes or cause linkage drag. To assess large-scale collinearity between potato and two of its wild relatives (Solanum commersonii and Solanum chacoense), we used BAC-FISH mapping of sequences with known positions on the RH potato map. BAC probes could successfully be hybridized to the S. commersonii and S. chachoense pachytene chromosomes, confirming their correspondence with linkage groups in RH potato. Our study shows that the order of BAC signals is conserved. Distances between BAC signals were quantified and compared; some differences found suggest either small-scale rearrangements or reduction/amplification of repeats. We conclude that S. commersonii and S. chacoense are collinear with cultivated Solanum tuberosum on the whole chromosome scale, making these amenable species for efficient introgressive hybridization breeding.
Potato starch synthases : Functions and relationships
Nazarian-Firouzabadi, Farhad ; Visser, Richard G.F. - \ 2017
Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports 10 (2017). - p. 7 - 16.
Bioinformatics - Glycosyltransferase - Potato - Starch biosynthesis - Starch synthases
Starch, a very compact form of glucose units, is the most abundant form of storage polyglucan in nature. The starch synthesis pathway is among the central biochemical pathways, however, our understanding of this important pathway regarding genetic elements controlling this pathway, is still insufficient. Starch biosynthesis requires the action of several enzymes. Soluble starch synthases (SSs) are a group of key players in starch biosynthesis which have proven their impact on different aspects of the starch biosynthesis and functionalities. These enzymes have been studied in different plant species and organs in detail, however, there seem to be key differences among species regarding their contributions to the starch synthesis. In this review, we consider an update on various SSs with an emphasis on potato SSs as a model for storage organs. The genetics and regulatory mechanisms of potato starch synthases will be highlighted. Different aspects of various isoforms of SSs are also discussed.
Auxin synthesis gene tms1 driven by tuber-specific promoter alters hormonal status of transgenic potato plants and their responses to exogenous phytohormones
Kolachevskaya, Oksana O. ; Sergeeva, Lidia ; Floková, Kristyna ; Getman, Irina A. ; Lomin, Sergey N. ; Alekseeva, Valeriya V. ; Rukavtsova, Elena B. ; Buryanov, Yaroslav I. ; Romanov, Georgy A. - \ 2017
Plant Cell Reports 36 (2017)3. - ISSN 0721-7714 - p. 419 - 435.
Auxin - Cytokinin - Hormonal status - Phytohormones - Potato - Solanum tuberosum - Transformants - Tuberization
Key message: Ectopic auxin overproduction in transgenic potato leads to enhanced productivity accompanied with concerted and occasional changes in hormonal status, and causing altered response of transformants to exogenous auxin or cytokinin.Abstract: Previously, we generated potato transformants expressing Agrobacterium-derived auxin synthesis gene tms1 driven by tuber-specific patatin gene promoter (B33-promoter). Here, we studied the endogenous hormonal status and the response to exogenous phytohormones in tms1 transformants cultured in vitro. Adding indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) or kinetin to culture medium affected differently tuberization of tms1-transformed and control plants, depending also on sucrose content in the medium. Exogenous phytohormones ceased to stimulate the tuber initiation in transformants at high (5–8%) sucrose concentration, while in control plants the stimulation was observed in all experimental settings. Furthermore, exogenous auxin partly inhibited the tuber initiation, and exogenous cytokinin reduced the average tuber weight in most transformants at high sucrose content. The elevated auxin level in tubers of the transformants was accompanied with a decrease in content of cytokinin bases and their ribosides in tubers and most shoots. No concerted changes in contents of abscisic, jasmonic, salicylic acids and gibberellins in tubers were detected. The data on hormonal status indicated that the enhanced productivity of tms1 transformants was due to auxin and not mediated by other phytohormones. In addition, exogenous cytokinin was shown to upregulate the expression of genes encoding orthologs of auxin receptors. Overall, the results showed that tms1 expression and local increase in IAA level in transformants affect both the balance of endogenous cytokinins and the dynamics of tuberization in response to exogenous hormones (auxin, cytokinin), the latter reaction depending also on the carbohydrate supply. We introduce a basic model for the hormonal network controlling tuberization.
Performance of the SUBSTOR-potato model across contrasting growing conditions
Raymundo, Rubí ; Asseng, Senthold ; Prassad, Rishi ; Wolf, Joost - \ 2017
Field Crops Research 202 (2017). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 57 - 76.
CO - Crop modeling - High temperature - Model performance - Potato - SUBSTOR-potato

Crop models are essential tools in climate change impact assessments, but they often lack comprehensive field testing. In this study, we tested the SUBSTOR-potato model with 87 field experiments, including 204 treatments from 19 countries. The field experiments varied in potato species and cultivars, N fertilizer application, water supply, sowing dates, soil types, temperature environments, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and included open top chamber and Free-Air-CO2-Enrichment (FACE) experiments. Tuber yields were generally well simulated with the SUBSTOR-potato model across a wide range of current growing conditions and for diverse potato species and cultivars, including Solanum tuberosum, Solanum andigenum, Solanum juzepczukii species, as well as modern, traditional, early, medium, and late maturity-type cultivars, with a relative RMSE of 37.2% for tuber dry weight and 21.4% for tuber fresh weight. Cultivars 'Desiree' and 'Atlantic' were grown in experiments across the globe and well simulated using consistent cultivar parameters. However, the model underestimated the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and poorly simulated high temperature effects on crop growth. Other simulated crop variables, including leaf area, stem weight, crop N, and soil water, differed frequently from measurements; some of these variables had significant large measurement errors. The SUBSTOR-potato model was shown to be suitable to simulate tuber growth and yields over a wide range of current growing conditions and crop management practices across many geographic regions. However, before the model can be used effectively in climate change impact assessments, it requires improved model routines to capture the impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 and high temperatures on crop growth.

Silencing of six susceptibility genes results in potato late blight resistance
Sun, Kaile ; Wolters, Anne-Marie A. ; Vossen, Jack H. ; Rouwet, Maarten E. ; Loonen, Annelies E.H.M. ; Jacobsen, Evert ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Bai, Yuling - \ 2016
Transgenic Research 25 (2016)5. - ISSN 0962-8819 - p. 731 - 742.
Late blight - Potato - Resistance - RNAi - Susceptibility gene

Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of late blight, is a major threat to commercial potato production worldwide. Significant costs are required for crop protection to secure yield. Many dominant genes for resistance (R-genes) to potato late blight have been identified, and some of these R-genes have been applied in potato breeding. However, the P. infestans population rapidly accumulates new virulent strains that render R-genes ineffective. Here we introduce a new class of resistance which is based on the loss-of-function of a susceptibility gene (S-gene) encoding a product exploited by pathogens during infection and colonization. Impaired S-genes primarily result in recessive resistance traits in contrast to recognition-based resistance that is governed by dominant R-genes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, many S-genes have been detected in screens of mutant populations. In the present study, we selected 11 A. thalianaS-genes and silenced orthologous genes in the potato cultivar Desiree, which is highly susceptible to late blight. The silencing of five genes resulted in complete resistance to the P. infestans isolate Pic99189, and the silencing of a sixth S-gene resulted in reduced susceptibility. The application of S-genes to potato breeding for resistance to late blight is further discussed.

Solanum venturii, a suitable model system for virus-induced gene silencing studies in potato reveals StMKK6 as an important player in plant immunity
Dobnik, David ; Lazar, Ana ; Stare, Tjaša ; Gruden, Kristina ; Vleeshouwers, Vivianne G.A.A. ; Žel, Jana - \ 2016
Plant Methods 12 (2016)1. - ISSN 1746-4811
Potato - Potato virus Y - PVY - Solanum venturii - StMKK6 - StWIPK - TRV - VIGS - Virus-induced gene silencing

Background: Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an optimal tool for functional analysis of genes in plants, as the viral vector spreads throughout the plant and causes reduced expression of selected gene over the whole plant. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the most important food crops, therefore studies performing functional analysis of its genes are very important. However, the majority of potato cultivars used in laboratory experimental setups are not well amenable to available VIGS systems, thus other model plants from Solanaceae family are used (usually Nicotiana benthamiana). Wild potato relatives can be a better choice for potato model, but their potential in this field was yet not fully explored. This manuscript presents the set-up of VIGS, based on Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) in wild potato relatives for functional studies in potato-virus interactions. Results: Five different potato cultivars, usually used in our lab, did not respond to silencing of phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene with TRV-based vector. Thus screening of a large set of wild potato relatives (different Solanum species and their clones) for their susceptibility to VIGS was performed by silencing PDS gene. We identified several responsive species and further tested susceptibility of these genotypes to potato virus Y (PVY) strain NTN and N. In some species we observed that the presence of empty TRV vector restricted the movement of PVY. Fluorescently tagged PVYN-GFP spread systemically in only five of tested wild potato relatives. Based on the results, Solanum venturii (VNT366-2) was selected as the most suitable system for functional analysis of genes involved in potato-PVY interaction. The system was tested by silencing two different plant immune signalling-related kinases, StWIPK and StMKK6. Silencing of StMKK6 enabled faster spreading of the virus throughout the plant, while silencing of WIPK had no effect on spreading of the virus. Conclusions: The system employing S. venturii (VNT366-2) and PVYN-GFP is a suitable method for fast and simple functional analysis of genes involved in potato-PVY interactions. Additionally, a set of identified VIGS responsive species of wild potato relatives could serve as a tool for general studies of potato gene function.

The double-reduction landscape in tetraploid potato as revealed by a high-density linkage map
Bourke, P.M. ; Voorrips, R.E. ; Visser, R.G.F. ; Maliepaard, Chris - \ 2015
Genetics 201 (2015)3. - ISSN 0016-6731 - p. 853 - 863.
Double reduction - Linkage mapping - Multivalents - Potato - Tetraploid

The creation of genetic linkage maps in polyploid species has been a long-standing problem for which various approaches have been proposed. In the case of autopolyploids, a commonly used simplification is that random bivalents form during meiosis. This leads to relatively straightforward estimation of recombination frequencies using maximum likelihood, from which a genetic map can be derived. However, autopolyploids such as tetraploid potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) may exhibit additional features, such as double reduction, not normally encountered in diploid or allopolyploid species. In this study, we produced a high-density linkage map of tetraploid potato and used it to identify regions of double reduction in a biparental mapping population. The frequency of multivalents required to produce this degree of double reduction was determined through simulation. We also determined the effect that multivalents or preferential pairing between homologous chromosomes has on linkage mapping. Low levels of multivalents or preferential pairing do not adversely affect map construction when highly informative marker types and phases are used. We reveal the double-reduction landscape in tetraploid potato, clearly showing that this phenomenon increases with distance from the centromeres.

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