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

Robert D. Hancock, Wayne L. Morris, Laurence J. M. Ducreux, Jenny A. Morris, Muhammad Usman, Susan R. Verrall, John Fuller, Craig G. Simpson, Runxuan Zhang, Pete E. Hedley, Mark A. Taylor (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    173 Citations (Scopus)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-450
    Number of pages12
    JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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