Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Molecular and physiological adaptation to prolonged drought stress in the leaves of two Andean potato genotypes

Shrinivasrao P. Mane A G , Cecilia Vasquez Robinet C G , Alexander Ulanov B , Roland Schafleitner D , Luz Tincopa D , Amelie Gaudin D , Giannina Nomberto D , Carlos Alvarado D , Christian Solis D , Luis Avila Bolivar D , Raul Blas D , Oscar Ortega D , Julio Solis D , Ana Panta D , Cristina Rivera D , Ilanit Samolski D , Doris H. Carbajulca D , Meredith Bonierbale D , Amrita Pati F , Lenwood S. Heath F , Hans J. Bohnert E and Ruth Grene C H
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

B Biotechnology Center, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

C Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

D Centro Internacional de la Papa, Lima, Peru.

E Departments of Plant Biology and of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

F Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

G These authors contributed equally to the work.

H Corresponding author. Email: grene@vt.edu

Functional Plant Biology 35(8) 669-688 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP07293
Submitted: 13 December 2007  Accepted: 25 July 2008   Published: 19 September 2008

Abstract

Responses to prolonged drought and recovery from drought of two South American potato (Solanum tuberosum L. ssp. andigena (Juz & Buk) Hawkes) landraces, Sullu and Ccompis were compared under field conditions. Physiological and biomass measurements, yield analysis, the results of hybridisation to a potato microarray platform (44 000 probes) and metabolite profiling were used to characterise responses to water deficit. Drought affected shoot and root biomass negatively in Ccompis but not in Sullu, whereas both genotypes maintained tuber yield under water stress. Ccompis showed stronger reduction in maximum quantum yield under stress than Sullu, and less decrease in stomatal resistance. Genes associated with PSII functions were activated during recovery in Sullu only. Evidence for sucrose accumulation in Sullu only during maximum stress and recovery was observed, in addition to increases in cell wall biosynthesis. A depression in the abundance of plastid superoxide dismutase transcripts was observed under maximum stress in Ccompis. Both sucrose and the regulatory molecule trehalose accumulated in the leaves of Sullu only. In contrast, in Ccompis, the raffinose oligosaccharide family pathway was activated, whereas low levels of sucrose and minor stress-mediated changes in trehalose were observed. Proline, and expression of the associated genes, rose in both genotypes under drought, with a 3-fold higher increase in Sullu than in Ccompis. The results demonstrate the presence of distinct molecular and biochemical drought responses in the two potato landraces leading to yield maintenance but differential biomass accumulation in vegetative tissues.

Additional keywords: Solanum tuberosum, ssp. andigena, metabolomics, osmoprotectants, transcriptomics, trehalose.


Acknowledgements

The work has been supported by NSF DBI-0223905 and IBN-0219322 and by CIP, UIUC and VT institutional grants. The microaray hybridisations were carried out during an NSF-supported workshop conducted during March, 2006 at Virginia Tech and the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign for students from the Centro Internacional de La Papa. We are grateful to members of the POCI consortium for access to the arrays and providing annotations. We wish to thank Dr David Wilmot of Agilent Technologies for skilled technical support, and for conducting the workshop in Spanish for our students. Thanks especially to those faculty at Virginia Tech and the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign who gave generously of their time to participate in the workshop.


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