Production of a freeze-thaw-stable potato starch by antisense inhibition of three starch synthase genes

Nat Biotechnol. 2002 Mar;20(3):295-9. doi: 10.1038/nbt0302-295.


The use of unmodified starches in frozen foods is severely limited by the undesirable textural changes that occur after freezing and thawing. Retrogradation of glucan chains leads to syneresis, a separation of the starch gel and water phases. Stabilization of the starch structure is normally achieved by chemical modification to prevent these changes from occurring. We have now created a freeze-thaw-stable potato starch by alteration of starch composition and structure by genetic modification. An amylose-free starch with short-chain amylopectin was produced by simultaneous antisense downregulation of three starch synthase genes. This starch is extremely freeze-thaw-stable and shows no syneresis even after five freeze-thaw cycles. The use of this starch has potential for environmental and consumer benefits because its production requires no chemical modification.

MeSH terms

  • Amylopectin / chemistry
  • Amylose / chemistry
  • Chromatography
  • Freezing
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Solanum tuberosum / enzymology
  • Starch / chemistry*
  • Starch Synthase / chemistry*
  • Time Factors


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Starch
  • Amylose
  • Amylopectin
  • Starch Synthase