Alleviation of low temperature sweetening in potato by expressing Arabidopsis pyruvate decarboxylase gene and stress-inducible rd29A: A preliminary study
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The acceptability of potatoes for processing chips and French fries is largely dependent on the color of the finished product. Most potato cultivars and varieties stored at temperatures below 9-10 °C are subjected to low temperature sweetening (LTS) which result in the production of bitter-tasting, dark colored chips and French fries which are unacceptable to consumers. However, storing tubers at low temperatures (i.e., <10 °C) has many advantages such as lowered weight loss during storage, natural control of sprouting, and reduction/elimination of chemical sprout inhibitors. Our earlier research results on LTS suggested a role for pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) in LTS-tolerance. In the present study, the role of PDC was examined whereby the potato variety Snowden was transformed with Arabidopsis cold-inducible pyruvate decarboxylase gene 1 (AtPDC1) under the control of promoter rd29A. Two transgenic plants were selected and storage studies were conducted on tubers harvested from one of the transgenic lines grown under green house conditions. Transgenic tubers showed higher Agtron chip color score indicating lighter chip and lower reducing sugar and sucrose concentrations compared to the untransformed tubers during the storage periods studied at 12 °C and 5 °C. These results suggest that overexpression of pyruvate decarboxylase gene resulted in low temperature sweetening tolerance in the transgenic Snowden.
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