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Plants (journal)

Pawan Kumar

Yulia Kaplan

Jeffrey B. Endelman

Idit Ginzberg

 

Potato tuber skin is a protective corky tissue consisting of suberized phellem cells. Smooth-skinned varieties are characterized by a clean, shiny appearance compared to the darker hue of russeted potatoes. The rough skin of russeted cultivars is a desired, genetically inherited characteristic; however, unwanted russeting of smooth-skinned cultivars often occurs under suboptimal growth conditions. The involvement of epigenetic modifiers in regulating the smooth skin russeting disorder was tested. We used smooth-skin commercial cultivars with and without the russeting disorder and three lines from a breeding population segregating for russeting. Anatomically, the russet skin showed similar characteristics, whether the cause was environmentally triggered or genetically determined. The old outer layers of the corky phellem remain attached to the newly formed phellem layers instead of being sloughed off. Global DNA methylation analysis indicated a significant reduction in the percentage of 5-methylcytosine in mature vs. immature skin and russet vs. smooth skin. This was true for both the smooth-skin commercial cultivars and the russeted lines. The expression level of selected DNA methyltransferases was reduced in accordance. DNA demethylase expression did not change between the skin types and age. Hence, the reduced DNA methylation in mature and russet skin is more likely to be achieved through passive DNA demethylation and loss of methyltransferase activity.

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Epigenetic Modifications Related to Potato Skin Russeting

Pawan Kumar

Yulia Kaplan

Jeffrey B. Endelman

Idit Ginzberg

 

Epigenetic Modifications Related to Potato Skin Russeting

Potato tuber skin is a protective corky tissue consisting of suberized phellem cells. Smooth-skinned varieties are characterized by a clean, shiny appearance compared to the darker hue of russeted potatoes. The rough skin of russeted cultivars is a desired, genetically inherited characteristic; however, unwanted russeting of smooth-skinned cultivars often occurs under suboptimal growth conditions. The involvement of epigenetic modifiers in regulating the smooth skin russeting disorder was tested. We used smooth-skin commercial cultivars with and without the russeting disorder and three lines from a breeding population segregating for russeting. Anatomically, the russet skin showed similar characteristics, whether the cause was environmentally triggered or genetically determined. The old outer layers of the corky phellem remain attached to the newly formed phellem layers instead of being sloughed off. Global DNA methylation analysis indicated a significant reduction in the percentage of 5-methylcytosine in mature vs. immature skin and russet vs. smooth skin. This was true for both the smooth-skin commercial cultivars and the russeted lines. The expression level of selected DNA methyltransferases was reduced in accordance. DNA demethylase expression did not change between the skin types and age. Hence, the reduced DNA methylation in mature and russet skin is more likely to be achieved through passive DNA demethylation and loss of methyltransferase activity.

Scientific Publication
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