Morphological and metabolic profiling of a tropical-adapted potato association panel subjected to water recovery treatment reveals new insights into plant vigor

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Pareja-Guzman G.
Rodriguez-Reyes J.C.F.
Salas-Martell D.
Tello-Hijar J.
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Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the world's most important crops, but it is facing major challenges due to climatic changes. To investigate the effects of intermittent drought on the natural variability of plant morphology and tuber metabolism in a novel potato association panel comprising 258 varieties we performed an augmented block design field study under normal irrigation and under water-deficit and recovery conditions in Ica, Peru. All potato genotypes were profiled for 45 morphological traits and 42 central metabolites via nuclear magnetic resonance. Statistical tests and norm of reaction analysis revealed that the observed variations were trait specific, that is, genotypic versus environmental. Principal component analysis showed a separation of samples as a result of conditional changes. To explore the relational ties between morphological traits and metabolites, correlation-based network analysis was employed, constructing one network for normal irrigation and one network for water-recovery samples. Community detection and difference network analysis highlighted the differences between the two networks, revealing a significant correlational link between fumarate and plant vigor. A genome-wide association study was performed for each metabolic trait. Eleven single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were associated with fumarate. Gene Ontology analysis of quantitative trait loci regions associated with fumarate revealed an enrichment of genes regulating metabolic processes. Three of the 11 SNPs were located within genes, coding for a protein of unknown function, a RING domain protein and a zinc finger protein ZAT2. Our findings have important implications for future potato breeding regimes, especially in countries suffering from climate change. © 2020 The Authors. The Plant Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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zinc finger protein ZAT2, correlation based network analysis, drought, NMR, potato morphology, potato tuber central metabolism, RING domain protein, Solanum tuberosum L.