Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 584–595 | Cite as

Identification of Late Blight Resistance-Related Metabolites and Genes in Potato through Nontargeted Metabolomics

  • Doddaraju Pushpa
  • Kalenahalli N. Yogendra
  • Raghavendra Gunnaiah
  • Ajjamada C. KushalappaEmail author
  • Agnes Murphy
Original Paper


Late blight of potato (Solanum tuberosum) caused by Phytophthora infestans significantly reduces the productivity of potato around the world. Resistance to late blight in potato is either qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative resistance governed by race-specific single R genes is well characterized and gives complete resistance, but is not durable. Quantitative resistance governed by polygenes gives partial resistance, but is durable in nature. However, the quantitative resistance mechanisms are poorly studied and are not efficiently exploited in potato breeding. A nontargeted metabolic profiling of resistant (F06037) and susceptible (Shepody) potato cultivars, using high-resolution liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, was applied to elucidate the quantitative resistance mechanisms against P. infestans (US-8 genotype). The hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs) of the shunt phenylpropanoid pathway were highly induced following pathogen inoculation in F06037. In parallel, the transcript abundances of genes that catalyze the biosynthesis of these metabolites, such as 4-coumarate:CoA ligase, tyrosine decarboxylase, ornithine decarboxylase, tyramine hydroxycinnamoyl transferase, and putrescine hydroxycinnamoyl transferase, were also higher in the resistant genotype. Sequencing of the coding genes of these enzymes revealed single-nucleotide polymorphisms between resistant and susceptible genotypes, and the amino acid changes caused missense mutations altering protein functions. HCAAs deposited at host cell walls inhibit pathogen colonization, thus reducing lesion expansion. In addition, these also act as phytoalexins, leading to the reduced biomass of the pathogen. Following validation, the HCAAs can be used as biomarker metabolites for late blight resistance. The putative candidate genes can be either used to develop allele-specific markers for marker-assisted breeding programs or suitably stacked into elite cultivars through cisgenic approaches, following validation.


Metabolomics Quantitative resistance Phytophthora infestans Polygenic resistance Single-nucleotide polymorphism Potato 



This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Center, Ottawa, Canada and with the financial support of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Supplementary material

11105_2013_665_Fig6_ESM.jpg (104 kb)
Fig. S1

MS/MS spectra and in silico fragmentation of metabolites detected in potato cultivars with contrasting levels of late blight resistance following P. infestans or mock inoculation. a) p-Coumaroyltyramine, b) sinapoyltyramine. (JPEG 103 kb)

11105_2013_665_MOESM1_ESM.tif (259 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 259 kb)
11105_2013_665_Fig7_ESM.jpg (57 kb)
Fig. S2

Resistant related metabolites are clustered in to two groups mainly RRC and RRI. Their chemical groups and fold change are indicated as node shape and color. RRC is resistant related constitutive metabolites, RRI is resistant related induced metabolites and NI and NS is not identified in our study and non-significant at (P < 0.05). (JPEG 57 kb)

11105_2013_665_MOESM2_ESM.tif (15.2 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 15516 kb)
11105_2013_665_MOESM3_ESM.xls (40 kb)
Table S1 Late blight resistance related constitutive metabolites identified in potato cultivars following P. infestans or mock inoculation. (XLS 40 kb)
11105_2013_665_MOESM4_ESM.xls (36 kb)
Table S2 Late blight resistance related induced metabolites identified in potato cultivars following P. infestans or mock inoculation. (XLS 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doddaraju Pushpa
    • 1
  • Kalenahalli N. Yogendra
    • 1
  • Raghavendra Gunnaiah
    • 1
  • Ajjamada C. Kushalappa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Agnes Murphy
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant Science DepartmentMcGill UniversitySainte-Anne-de-BellevueCanada
  2. 2.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaFrederictonCanada

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