Starch content and yield increase as a result of altering adenylate pools in transgenic plants

Nat Biotechnol. 2002 Dec;20(12):1256-60. doi: 10.1038/nbt760. Epub 2002 Nov 11.


Starch represents the most important carbohydrate used for food and feed purposes. With the aim of increasing starch content, we decided to modulate the adenylate pool by changing the activity of the plastidial adenylate kinase in transgenic potato plants. As a result, we observed a substantial increase in the level of adenylates and, most importantly, an increase in the level of starch to 60% above that found in wild-type plants. In addition, concentrations of several amino acids were increased by a factor of 2-4. These results are particularly striking because this genetic manipulation also results in an increased tuber yield. The modulation of the plastidial adenylate kinase activity in transgenic plants therefore represents a potentially very useful strategy for increasing formation of major storage compounds in heterotrophic tissues of higher plants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / genetics*
  • Adenylate Kinase / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Tubers / genetics
  • Plant Tubers / growth & development
  • Plant Tubers / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism*
  • Plastids / genetics
  • Plastids / metabolism
  • Solanum tuberosum / classification
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics*
  • Solanum tuberosum / growth & development
  • Solanum tuberosum / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Starch / biosynthesis*


  • Starch
  • Adenylate Kinase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF411937