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Plant J. 2019 Apr;98(1):42-54. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14198. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

Phytochrome F plays critical roles in potato photoperiodic tuberization.

Zhou T1,2,3, Song B1,3,4, Liu T1,3,4, Shen Y2,3,4, Dong L1, Jing S1,2,3, Xie C1,3,4, Liu J1,2,3.

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Key Laboratory of Potato Biology and Biotechnology, Ministry of Agriculture and Countryside, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, China.
College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, China.
National Center for Vegetable Improvement (Central China), Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, China.
Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology (HZAU), Ministry of Education, Wuhan, Hubei, 430070, China.


The transition to tuberization contributes greatly to the adaptability of potato to a wide range of environments. Phytochromes are important light receptors for the growth and development of plants, but the detailed functions of phytochromes remain unclear in potato. In this study, we first confirmed that phytochrome F (StPHYF) played essential roles in photoperiodic tuberization in potato. By suppressing the StPHYF gene, the strict short-day potato genotype exhibited normal tuber formation under long-day (LD) conditions, together with the degradation of the CONSTANTS protein StCOL1 and modulation of two FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) paralogs, as demonstrated by the repression of StSP5G and by the activation of StSP6A during the light period. The function of StPHYF was further confirmed through grafting the scion of StPHYF-silenced lines, which induced the tuberization of untransformed stock under LDs, suggesting that StPHYF was involved in the production of mobile signals for tuberization in potato. We also identified that StPHYF exhibited substantial interaction with StPHYB both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, our results indicate that StPHYF plays a role in potato photoperiodic tuberization, possibly by forming a heterodimer with StPHYB.


Solanum tuberosum ; photoperiod; photoreceptor; phytochrome; tuberization


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