Unravelling enzymatic discoloration in potato through a combined approach of candidate genes, QTL, and expression analysis
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Theoretical and Applied Genetics
DOI 10.1007/s00122-007-0560-y

Enzymatic discoloration (ED) of potato tubers was investigated in an attempt to unravel the underlying genetic factors. Both enzyme and substrate concentration have been reported to influence the degree of discoloration and as such this trait can be regarded as polygenic. The diploid mapping population C × E, consisting of 249 individuals, was assayed for the degree of ED and levels of chlorogenic acid and tyrosine. Using this data, Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) analysis was performed. Three QTLs for ED have been found on parental chromosomes C3, C8, E1, and E8. For chlorogenic acid a QTL has been identified on C2 and for tyrosine levels, a QTL has been detected on C8. None of the QTLs overlap, indicating the absence of genetic correlations between these components underlying ED, in contrast to earlier reports in literature. An obvious candidate gene for the QTL for ED on Chromosome 8 is polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which was previously mapped on chromosome 8. With gene-specific primers for PPO gene POT32 a CAPS marker was developed. Three different alleles (POT32-1, -2, and -3) could be discriminated. The segregating POT32 alleles were used to map the POT32 CAPS marker and QTL analysis was redone, showing that POT32 coincides with the QTL peak. A clear correlation between allele combinations and degree of discoloration was observed. In addition, analysis of POT32 gene expression in a subset of genotypes indicated a correlation between the level of gene expression and allele composition. On average, genotypes having two copies of allele 1 had both the highest degree of discoloration as well as the highest level of POT32 gene expression.