Molecular and biochemical characterization of a potato collection with contrasting tuber carotenoid content

Maria Sulli, Giuseppe Mandolino, Monica Sturaro, Chiara Onofri, Gianfranco Diretto, Bruno Parisi, Giovanni Giuliano

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After wheat and rice, potato is the third most important staple food worldwide. A collection of ten tetraploid (Solanum tuberosum) and diploid (S. phureja and S. chacoense) genotypes with contrasting carotenoid content was subjected to molecular characterization with respect to candidate carotenoid loci and metabolic profiling using LC-HRMS. Irrespective of ploidy and taxonomy, tubers of these genotypes fell into three groups: yellow-fleshed, characterized by high levels of epoxy-xanthophylls and xanthophyll esters and by the presence of at least one copy of a dominant allele of the β-Carotene Hydroxylase 2 (CHY2) gene; white-fleshed, characterized by low carotenoid levels and by the presence of recessive chy2 alleles; and orange-fleshed, characterized by high levels of zeaxanthin but low levels of xanthophyll esters, and homozygosity for a Zeaxanthin Epoxidase (ZEP) recessive allele. Novel CHY2 and ZEP alleles were identified in the collection. Multivariate analysis identified several groups of co-regulated non-polar compounds, and resulted in the grouping of the genotypes according to flesh color, suggesting that extensive cross-talk exists between the carotenoid pathway and other metabolite pathways in tubers. Postharvest traits like tuber dormancy and weight loss during storage showed little correlation with tuber carotenoid content, with the exception of zeaxanthin and its esters. Other tuber metabolites, such as glucose, monogalactosyldiacyglycerol (a glycolipid), or suberin precursors, showed instead significant correlations with both traits.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0184143
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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