2008 Volume 11 Issue 1 Pages 104-107
We analyzed the yield characters of field-grown transgenic potato plants (Solanum tuberosum) carrying a maize gene for sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS), the key enzyme in sucrose synthesis. The SPS activity in the leaves of transgenic plants (line Ag1203) was 2 times that of the control (cv. May Queen). There was no difference in the photosynthetic CO2 uptake rates between Ag1203 and May Queen plants, and the leaf starch content of Ag1203 was lower. These observations indicate that the introduction of a foreign SPS gene improved the supply of photosynthate from source (leaves) to sink (tubers). Additionally, leaf senescence of the transgenic potato plants was delayed relative to that of May Queen. The average tuber weight and total yield of Ag1203 plants were at least 20% higher, and the tuber sucrose content, which is related to eating quality, was also higher. Increased translocation of photosynthate and longer period of photosynthetic activity in the leaves may have increased the yield of Ag1203. These results suggest that introduction of the SPS gene improved the yield characters and quality of potato tubers under field conditions.
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