Tuber Formation and Growth of in vitro Cultivated Transgenic Potato Plants Overproducing Phytochrome B

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We studied the effect of the ectopic expression of the Arabidopsis PHYB gene, which encodes the phytochrome B (phyB) apoprotein, under the control of cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter on the photoperiodic response of tuberization and growth of potato (Solanum tuberosum L., cv. Désirée) transformed lines. Stem cuttings of transformed and control plants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog nutrient medium containing 5 or 8% sucrose in the phytotron chambers at 20°C under conditions of a long day (16 h), a short day (10 h), or in darkness. We showed that the overexpression of the PHYB gene enhanced the inhibitory effect of the long day on tuberization. In addition, tuber initiation in these transformed plants occurred at a higher sucrose concentration. The insertion of the PHYB gene decreased plant and tuber weights and shortened stems and internodes. Thus, we demonstrated the complex result of the PHYB gene insertion: it affected the photoperiodic response of tuberization, the control of tuber initiation by sucrose, and the growth of potato vegetative organs.

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