Identification of metabolites associated with water stress responses in Solanum tuberosum L. clones

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Water deficiency has become a major issue for modern agriculture as its effects on crop yields and tuber quality have become more pronounced. Potato genotypes more tolerant to water shortages have been identified through assessment of yield and dry matter. In the present study, a combination of metabolite profiling and physiological/agronomical measurements has been used to explore complex system level responses to non-lethal water restriction. The metabolites identified were associated with physiological responses in three different plant tissues (leaf, root and tuber) of five different potato genotypes varying in susceptibility/tolerance to drought. This approach explored the potential of metabolite profiling as a tool to unravel sectors of metabolism that react to stress conditions and could mirror the changes in the plant physiology. The metabolite results showed different responses of the three plant tissues to the water deficit, resulting either in different levels of the metabolites detected or different metabolites expressed. The leaf material displayed the most changes to drought as reported in literature. The results highlighted genotype–specific signatures to water restriction over all three plant tissues suggesting that the genetics can predominate over the environmental conditions. This will have important implications for future breeding approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24–33
Number of pages10
Early online date10 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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