The yield, quality, and market value of potato, the third most important crop in the world, is threatened by salinity and drought tolerance. Thus, researchers from National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina developed a transgenic potato using the ABF4 gene in potato to improve the tuber yield and quality and stress tolerance of potato.
ABF proteins are transcription factors that are involved in abscisic acid signalling when stress is present and are important in the induction of tuberization. ABF4 has been found to be important in tuber yield.
In the study mentioned, the researchers generated transgenic potato with the ABF4 gene via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. They determined the tuber dry matter content and starch and sugar content, sprouting behavior, leaf water loss, relative water content of the transgenic plants. Under salinity and drought conditions, they also determined agronomic traits, proline content, protein oxidation, gas exchange, and chlorophyll content of transgenic potato plants.
Results showed enhanced salinity and drought tolerance and increase in tuber yield in potato plants under normal and stressed conditions. The tubers were also shown to have enhanced storage capability and processing quality.