Gene expression changes related to the production of phenolic compounds in potato tubers grown under drought stress. uri icon

abstract

  • Polyphenols represent a large family of plant secondary metabolites implicated in the prevention of various diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The potato is a significant source of polyphenols in the human diet. In this study, we examined the expression of thirteen genes involved in the biosynthesis of polyphenols in potato tubers using real-time RT-PCR. A selection of five field grown native Andean cultivars, presenting contrasting polyphenol profiles, was used. Moreover, we investigated the expression of the genes after a drought exposure. We concluded that the diverse polyphenolic profiles are correlated to variations in gene expression profiles. The drought-induced variations of the gene expression was highly cultivar-specific. In the three anthocyanin-containing cultivars, gene expression was coordinated and reflected at the metabolite level supporting a hypothesis that regulation of gene expression plays an essential role in the potato polyphenol production. We proposed that the altered sucrose flux induced by the drought stress is partly responsible for the changes in gene expression. This study provides information on key polyphenol biosynthetic and regulatory genes, which could be useful in the development of potato varieties with enhanced health and nutritional benefits. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009