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Plant Cell Environ. 2014 Feb;37(2):439-50. doi: 10.1111/pce.12168. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plant to moderately elevated temperature.

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Cellular and Molecular Sciences, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, UK.


Although significant work has been undertaken regarding the response of model and crop plants to heat shock during the acclimatory phase, few studies have examined the steady-state response to the mild heat stress encountered in temperate agriculture. In the present work, we therefore exposed tuberizing potato plants to mildly elevated temperatures (30/20 °C, day/night) for up to 5 weeks and compared tuber yield, physiological and biochemical responses, and leaf and tuber metabolomes and transcriptomes with plants grown under optimal conditions (22/16 °C). Growth at elevated temperature reduced tuber yield despite an increase in net foliar photosynthesis. This was associated with major shifts in leaf and tuber metabolite profiles, a significant decrease in leaf glutathione redox state and decreased starch synthesis in tubers. Furthermore, growth at elevated temperature had a profound impact on leaf and tuber transcript expression with large numbers of transcripts displaying a rhythmic oscillation at the higher growth temperature. RT-PCR revealed perturbation in the expression of circadian clock transcripts including StSP6A, previously identified as a tuberization signal. Our data indicate that potato plants grown at moderately elevated temperatures do not exhibit classic symptoms of abiotic stress but that tuber development responds via a diversity of biochemical and molecular signals.


development; heat; metabolome; oxidative stress; secondary metabolism; transcriptome; tuberization

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