Expression analysis of candidate genes as indicators for commencing drought stress in starch potatoes

authored by
Katharina Wellpott, Jannis Straube, Traud Winkelmann, Christin Bündig

Drought stress is a major problem for potato production and will be of grave importance due to climate change and the resulting temperature peaks along with drought periods in the vegetative growth phase of potato. Plants, as sessile organisms, adapt to their environment morphologically as well as biochemically. To cope better with abiotic stresses like drought, plants developed strategies like reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification and fast reacting stomatal closure, as well as signalling cascades leading to a quick response to stress. This study aimed at analysing eight genes of interest, derived from a former proteomic study, and determining their suitability for detection of commencing drought stress in early growth stages of potato. For this aim, six starch potato genotypes, which differed in stress response in previous studies, were examined for plant growth and physiological parameters in two experiments in an open greenhouse after seven and 14 days of stress. Besides lower shoot biomass after drought stress, which was already visible after seven days and became stronger after 14 days, weaker root growth was also detected after 14 days. The observed differences between the experiments can presumably be explained by temperature peaks and high radiation prior to and during the first experiment, which took place earlier in the year. The expression of the eight genes was studied in young leaves of four genotypes after 7 days of water withdrawal. Gene expression patterns were dependent on the studied genes. Three genes, cell wall/vacuolar inhibitor of fructosidase (INH1), peroxidase 51-like (POD) and subtilase family protein (SBT1.7) showed consistent changes in gene expression after seven days of stress between all genotypes. The INH1 gene was found to be upregulated in all genotypes in two independent experiments after drought stress. This correlates with the results at the protein level, where INH1 was also found to be higher abundant in two genotypes of potato (Wellpott et al., DGG-Proceedings 10, 2021). Therefore, this gene might be an appropriate candidate for the detection of commencing drought stress in potato.

Woody Plant and Propagation Physiology Section
Fruit Growing Section
Section Molecular Plant Breeding
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Agronomy and Crop Science, Plant Science
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action
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