Inhibition of the ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase in transgenic potatoes leads to sugar-storing tubers and influences tuber formation and expression of tuber storage protein genes

EMBO J. 1992 Apr;11(4):1229-38.


Transgenic potato plants were created in which the expression of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) was inhibited by introducing a chimeric gene containing the coding region of one of the subunits of the AGPase linked in an antisense orientation to the CaMV 35S promoter. Partial inhibition of the AGPase enzyme was achieved in leaves and almost complete inhibition in tubers. This resulted in the abolition of starch formation in tubers, thus proving that AGPase has a unique role in starch biosynthesis in plants. Instead up to 30% of the dry weight of the transgenic potato tubers was represented by sucrose and up to 8% by glucose. The process of tuber formation also changed, resulting in significantly more tubers both per plant and per stolon. The accumulation of soluble sugars in tubers of antisense plants resulted in a significant increase of the total tuber fresh weight, but a decrease in dry weight of tubers. There was no significant change in the RNA levels of several other starch biosynthetic enzymes, but there was a great increase in the RNA level of the major sucrose synthesizing enzyme sucrose phosphate synthase. In addition, the inhibition of starch biosynthesis was accompanied by a massive reduction in the expression of the major storage protein species of potato tubers, supporting the idea that the expression of storage protein genes is in some way connected to carbohydrate formation in sink storage tissues.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Solanum tuberosum / anatomy & histology
  • Solanum tuberosum / enzymology
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics*
  • Sucrose / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Sucrose
  • RNA
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • sucrose-phosphate synthase
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase
  • Glucose