Gene expression activity and pathway selection for sucrose metabolism in developing storage root of sweet potato. uri icon

abstract

  • Development of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) storage root coincides with starch accumulation made using cleaved products of imported photoassimilate sucrose. The genes and pathways are predominantly active for sucrose metabolism in developing storage root were unknown. In this study, we used both an expressed sequence tag (EST) approach and a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) approach to answer this question. Sucrose synthase (SuSy) was found to be significantly more frequent in storage root ESTs than in fibrous root ESTs. SuSy was the most abundant carbohydrate-metabolism gene in the storage-root ESTs. RT-PCR results confirmed this by showing that invertase was active in fibrous roots but rapidly decreased to an undetectable level during storage root development while SuSy became predominant. Invertase expression was also detectable in young immature storage root and shoot tips, suggesting an involvement in cell formation. SuSy expression pattern showed considerable similarity to that of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, an essential enzyme for starch synthesis. The results indicated that (i) SuSy was the most actively expressed enzyme in sucrose metabolism in developing storage root and was correlated with sink strength, and (ii) whereas invertase was active at cell formation stages, SuSy pathway was predominant for sucrose cleavage related to starch-accumulation.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003