Commercial storage of potatoes often relies on the use of sprout inhibitors to prolong storage and reduce spoilage. The compound 1,4-dimethylnaphthalene (DMN) has seen increase application as a sprout inhibitor in the potato industry as older chemistries are being phased out. The mode of action of DMN is poorly understood as is the sensitivity of potato tissues to this new class of inhibitor. During storage potato tubers transition from a state of endo-dormant to eco-dormant and it is not known if the DMN response is consistent across this developmental transition. RNA-seq gene expression profiling was used to establish if stored potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum cv La Chipper) have differential sensitivity to DMN as tubers age. DMN was applied at three different times during storage; just after harvest when tubers are in endo-dormancy, midwinter at early eco-dormancy, and in spring during late eco-dormancy when sprouting was prevented via exposure to cold storage temperatures. Changes in gene expression were lowest during endo-dormancy while midwinter and spring treatments exhibited a greater and more diverse expression response. Functional analysis of differential gene expression demonstrated gene sets associated with DNA replication, cell division, and DNA methylation are suppressed after DMN treatment. However, gene sets associated with salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, abiotic and biotic stress responses are elevated by DMN only after endodormancy terminates. Gene clusters associated with pathogenesis related proteins PR-4 and PR-5 are also upregulated in response to DMN. These results indicate that DMN sensitivity changes as potato tubers age and transition from endo-dormant to eco-dormant in storage and the overall response is a shift in gene classes that regulate growth and response to stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)