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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #438727

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

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21430-008-007-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

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

Approach:
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.