Somaclonal Variation for Genetic Improvement of Starch Accumulation in Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Tubers

Adly, W. M. R. M., G. NiedbaƂa, M. E. EL-Denary, M. A. Mohamed, M. Piekutowska, T. Wojciechowski, E. - S. T. Abd El-Salam, and A. S. Fouad, "Somaclonal Variation for Genetic Improvement of Starch Accumulation in Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Tubers", Plants, vol. 12, issue 2, 2023.


Starch content is one of the major quality criteria targeted by potato breeding programs. Traditional potato breeding is a laborious duty due to the tetraploid nature and immense heterozygosity of potato genomes. In addition, screening for functional genetic variations in wild relatives is slow and strenuous. Moreover, genetic diversity, which is the raw material for breeding programs, is limited due to vegetative propagation used in the potato industry. Somaclonal variation provides a time-efficient tool to breeders for obtaining genetic variability, which is essential for breeding programs, at a reasonable cost and independent of sophisticated technology. The present investigation aimed to create potato somaclones with an improved potential for starch accumulation. Based on the weight and starch content of tubers, the somaclonal variant Ros 119, among 105 callus-sourced clones, recorded a higher tuberization potential than the parent cv Lady Rosetta in a field experiment. Although this somaclone was similar to the parent in the number of tubers produced, it exhibited tubers with 42 and 61% higher fresh and dry weights, respectively. Additionally, this clone recorded 10 and 75% increases in starch content based on the dry weight and average content per plant, respectively. The enhanced starch accumulation was associated with the upregulation of six starch-synthesis-related genes, namely, the AGPase, GBSS I, SBE I, SBE II, SS II and SS III genes. AGPase affords the glycosyl moieties required for the synthesis of amylose and amylopectin. GBSS is required for amylose elongation, while SBE I, SBE II, SS II and SS III are responsible for amylopectin.