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Plant Biotechnol J. 2018 Feb;16(2):603-614. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12800. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

Genomewide identification of genes involved in the potato response to drought indicates functional evolutionary conservation with Arabidopsis plants.

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Department of Gene Expression, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland.
Potato Agronomy Department, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute, National Research Institute, Division Jadwisin, Poland.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture and Biology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.
Department of Computational Biology, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland.


Potato is one of the four most important food crop plants worldwide and is strongly affected by drought. The following two pairs of potato cultivars, which are related in ancestry but show different drought tolerances, were chosen for comparative gene expression studies: Gwiazda/Oberon and Tajfun/Owacja. Comparative RNA-seq analyses of gene expression differences in the transcriptomes obtained from drought-tolerant versus drought-sensitive plants during water shortage conditions were performed. The 23 top-ranking genes were selected, 22 of which are described here as novel potato drought-responsive genes. Moreover, all but one of the potato genes selected have homologues in the Arabidopsis genome. Of the seven tested A. thaliana mutants with altered expression of the selected homologous genes, compared to the wild-type Arabidopsis plants, six showed an improved tolerance to drought. These genes encode carbohydrate transporter, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 15 (MAPKKK15), serine carboxypeptidase-like 19 protein (SCPL19), armadillo/beta-catenin-like repeat-containing protein, high-affinity nitrate transporter 2.7 and nonspecific lipid transfer protein type 2 (nsLPT). The evolutionary conservation of the functions of the selected genes in the plant response to drought confirms the importance of these identified potato genes in the ability of plants to cope with water shortage conditions. Knowledge regarding these gene functions can be used to generate potato cultivars that are resistant to unfavourable conditions. The approach used in this work and the obtained results allowed for the identification of new players in the plant response to drought.


Solanum tuberosum ; Arabidopsis homologues; RNA-seq; functional confirmation of the selected gene importance to drought; potato drought-responsive genes; transcriptomics

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