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Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Potato tuber expression of Arabidopsis WRINKLED1 increase triacylglycerol and membrane lipids while affecting central carbohydrate metabolism

Hofvander, Per; Ischebeck, Till; Turesson, Helle; Kumar Kushwaha, Sandeep; Feussner, Ivo; Carlsson, Anders S.; Andersson, Mariette


Tuber and root crops virtually exclusively accumulate storage products in the form of carbohydrates. An exception is yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) in which tubers have the capacity to store starch and triacylglycerols (TAG) in roughly equal amounts. This suggests that a tuber crop can efficiently handle accumulation of energy dense oil. From a nutritional as well as economic aspect, it would be of interest to utilize the high yield capacity of tuber or root crops for oil accumulation similar to yellow nutsedge. The transcription factor WRINKLED1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, which in seed embryos induce fatty acid synthesis, has been shown to be a major factor for oil accumulation. WRINKLED1 was expressed in potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers to explore whether this factor could impact tuber metabolism. This study shows that a WRINKLED1 transcription factor could induce triacylglycerol accumulation in tubers of transformed potato plants grown in field (up to 12 nmol TAG/mg dry weight, 1% of dry weight) together with a large increase in polar membrane lipids. The changes in metabolism further affected starch accumulation and composition concomitant with massive increases in sugar content.


Solanum tuberosum; tuber; WRINKLED1; lipid; triacylglycerol; starch; metabolite

Published in

Plant Biotechnology Journal
2016, Volume: 14, number: 9, pages: 1883-1898