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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #438727

Research Project: Refining Molecular Mechanisms that Control Potato Meristem Dormancy and Tuber Sprouting via Omics

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21430-009-004-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Investigate the molecular mechanisms impacting potato meristem dormancy and tuber sprouting, and post harvest storage quality.

At different stages of potato tuber dormancy progression, transcriptome, metabolome and phytohormone profiling will be determined to discover the underlying molecular mechanisms that impact dormancy-related traits. The cooperator will carry out the following: 1) Collect samples during dormancy progression. Field-grown Russet Burbank potato tubers will be obtained from a collaborating commercial producer immediately after harvest. After a two-week curing period at room temperature, the tubers will be placed into 4oC storage. At 3-week intervals, tubers will be equilibrated at 20oC for three days. Tuber buds containing the primary meristem will be isolated and immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80oC until used for molecular studies. Each sample will contain ~100-150 buds; the experiments will include three replicates at each sampling date. 2) Determine the dormancy status of tubers. At each sampling date, a subset of intact tubers will be stored in the dark at 20oC and 95% relative humidity for 14 days and visually evaluated for sprouting. 3) Transcriptome profiling. RNA will be extracted using a commercial kit, and RNA sequencing will be obtained using a common service laboratory. The data will be analyzed to identify differentially expressed genes, over-represented gene-sets, and significant gene networks and pathways. 4) Metabolome profiling. A subset of homogenized bud samples will be used for metabolite analyses. Monoterpenoid volatiles, polar amino acids, or hydrophobic lipids profiles will be assessed using common LC/MS untargeted metabolic profiling methods. 5) Phytohormone profiling. A subset of homogenized bud samples will be used for phytohormone profiles (e.g., auxin, ABA, cytokinins, GA, SA and JA) using a common service laboratory.