, Volume 249, Issue 4, pp 1143–1155 | Cite as

Nutritional value of potato (Solanum tuberosum) in hot climates: anthocyanins, carotenoids, and steroidal glycoalkaloids

  • Edna Fogelman
  • Michal Oren-Shamir
  • Joseph Hirschberg
  • Giuseppe Mandolino
  • Bruno Parisi
  • Rinat Ovadia
  • Zachariah Tanami
  • Adi Faigenboim
  • Idit GinzbergEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

Growth in hot climates selectively alters potato tuber secondary metabolism—such as the anthocyanins, carotenoids, and glycoalkaloids—changing its nutritive value and the composition of health-promoting components.


Potato breeding for improved nutritional value focuses mainly on increasing the health-promoting carotenoids and anthocyanins, and controlling toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs). Metabolite levels are genetically determined, but developmental, tissue-specific, and environmental cues affect their final content. Transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches were applied to monitor carotenoid, anthocyanin, and SGA metabolite levels and their biosynthetic genes’ expression under heat stress. The studied cultivars differed in tuber flesh carotenoid concentration and peel anthocyanin concentration. Gene expression studies showed heat-induced downregulation of specific genes for SGA, anthocyanin, and carotenoid biosynthesis. KEGG database mapping of the heat transcriptome indicated reduced gene expression for specific metabolic pathways rather than a global heat response. Targeted metabolomics indicated reduced SGA concentration, but anthocyanin pigments concentration remained unchanged, probably due to their stabilization in the vacuole. Total carotenoid level did not change significantly in potato tuber flesh, but their composition did. Results suggest that growth in hot climates selectively alters tuber secondary metabolism, changing its nutritive value and composition of health-promoting components.


High growth temperature Phelloderm Secondary metabolite Transcriptome Tuber flesh 



Anthocyanidin synthase


Chalcone synthase


Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase


Glycoalkaloid metabolism


Steroidal glycoalkaloid


Solanidine glucosyltransferase


Zeaxanthin epoxidase



This work was supported by the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development—Italian-Israel NUTRISOL project (261-0929-14), and is a contribution of the ARO, the Volcani Center, Israel. Authors would like to thank Dr. Mira Weisberg for the SGA metabolite analyses.

Supplementary material

425_2018_3078_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1479 kb)
425_2018_3078_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (174 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 175 kb)
425_2018_3078_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (6.5 mb)
Table S2 List of genes identified in the phelloderm and tuber flesh transcriptomes including EdgeR analysis of their differential expression (XLSX 6636 kb)
425_2018_3078_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (174 kb)
Table S3 Cluster and GO analyses of phelloderm and tuber flesh genes whose expression was modified by the heat treatment (XLSX 174 kb)
425_2018_3078_MOESM5_ESM.xlsx (31 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (XLSX 32 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani CenterInstitute of Plant SciencesRishon LeZionIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Genetics, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops (CREA-CI)BolognaItaly

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