Photosynthetic assimilation of 14C into amino acids in potato (Solanum tuberosum) and asparagine in the tubers

Muttucumaru, Nira and Keys, Alfred J. and Parry, Martin A J and Powers, Stephen J. and Halford, Nigel G. (2014) Photosynthetic assimilation of 14C into amino acids in potato (Solanum tuberosum) and asparagine in the tubers. Planta, 239 (1). pp. 161-170. ISSN 0032-0935

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Asparagine is the predominant free amino acid in potato tubers and the present study aimed to establish whether it is imported from the leaves or synthesised in situ. Free amino acid concentrations are important quality determinants for potato tubers because they react with reducing sugars at high temperatures in the Maillard reaction. This reaction produces melanoidin pigments and a host of aroma and flavour volatiles, but if free asparagine participates in the final stages, it results in the production of acrylamide, an undesirable contaminant. 14CO2 was supplied to a leaf or leaves of potato plants (cv. Saturna) in the light and radioactivity incorporated into amino acids was determined in the leaves, stems, stolons and tubers. Radioactivity was found in free amino acids, including asparagine, in all tissues, but the amount incorporated in asparagine transported to the tubers and stolons was much less than that in glutamate, glutamine, serine and alanine. The study showed that free asparagine does not play an important role in the transport of nitrogen from leaf to tuber in potato, and that the high concentrations of free asparagine that accumulate in potato tubers arise from synthesis in situ. This indicates that genetic interventions to reduce free asparagine concentration in potato tubers will have to target asparagine metabolism in the tuber.

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21 Oct 2015 05:03
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 02:22