Metabolomic analysis of the potato tuber life cycle

L.V.T. Shepherd, C.A. Alexander, J. Sungurtas, J.W. McNicol, D. Stewart, H.V. Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    An analysis of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber life cycle has been completed using a range of mass-spectrometry (MS) based approaches. Six stages have been examined which included developing and mature tubers, sprouting mature tubers and mature tubers stored at 5 or 10°C. The impact of excising developing tubers from the mother plant (source-sink manipulation) was also determined. Data was subjected to Principal Components Analysis, Analysis of Variance and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis to assess the potential for separating the life cycle stages, to define the major profiles for metabolite changes during the life cycle stages examined, and to inform on which metabolites underpinned these profiles. We have shown that it is possible to separate all of the stages using combined analytical approaches and that five major profiles can be used to describe the changes in metabolite levels. Data also indicate that, within a relatively short timeframe, manipulation of source-sink relations has a significant impact on metabolite pools beyond what is currently known for sugar–starch metabolism. We have also demonstrated that the metabolomics data can be mined to provide answers to specific questions––in this case to identify temporal changes in metabolites related to acrylamide-forming potential.
    © Springer US
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)274-291
    Number of pages18
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • potato
    • life-cycle
    • metabolomics
    • solanum tuberosum


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