Genetic manipulation for enhancing calcium content in potato tuber

J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jul 13;53(14):5598-603. doi: 10.1021/jf050531c.


Increased calcium (Ca) in potatoes may increase the production rate by enhancing tuber quality and storability. Additionally, increased Ca levels in important agricultural crops may help ameliorate the incidence of osteoporosis. However, the capacity to alter Ca levels in potato tubers through genetic manipulations has not been previously addressed. Here we demonstrate that potato tubers expressing the Arabidopsis H+/Ca2+ transporter sCAX1 (N-terminal autoinhibitory domain truncated version of CAtion eXchanger 1) contain up to 3-fold more Ca than wild-type tubers. The increased Ca appears to be distributed throughout the tuber. The sCAX1-expressing potatoes have normally undergone the tuber/plant/tuber cycle for three generations; the trait appeared stable through successive generations. The expression of sCAX1 does not appear to alter potato growth and development. Furthermore, increased Ca levels in sCAX1-expressing tubers do not appear to alter tuber morphology or yield. Given the preponderance of potato consumption worldwide, these transgenic plants may be a means of marginally increasing Ca intake levels in the population. To our knowledge, this study represents the first attempts to use biotechnology to increase the Ca content of potatoes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antiporters / genetics
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Plant Tubers / chemistry*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry*
  • Solanum tuberosum / chemistry
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics*


  • Antiporters
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • calcium-hydrogen antiporters
  • Calcium