3 Biotech

, 8:394 | Cite as

Transcriptome analysis and physiological responses of the potato plantlets in vitro under red, blue, and white light conditions

  • Jianmin Xu
  • Zhiming Yan
  • Zhigang XuEmail author
  • Yuanhua Wang
  • Zhenqiang Xie
Original Article


Light is an important factor for plant development and has serious effects on the growth, production and quality of potatoes. However, the physical and molecular mechanisms by which potato plantlets cope with different light qualities are not understood. In this study, the potato “Zhuanxinwu”, which is a germplasm potato resource with a high anthocyanin content, was used for physiological and transcriptome profiling analyses to uncover the different mechanisms that occur in response to blue, red and white light conditions, with the white light condition serving as the control. Multiple growth indexes, protective enzyme activity and metabolite accumulation were measured. The results indicated that white light promoted a shift in biomass allocation away from tubers to leaves to enhance dry leaf matter and reduce tuber fresh/dry weight relative to the effects of blue or red light. The leaf area and anthocyanin content values were greater for plants grown in blue light than those grown in white or red light, suggesting that combinations of different spectra were more conducive to regulating potato growth. A total of 2220 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were found among the three samples, and the DEGs in the three comparison sets were analyzed. A total of 1180 and 984 DEGs were identified in the red light (Red) and blue light (Blue) conditions compared to the control condition, respectively, and 359 DEGs overlapped between the two comparison sets (Blue_vs_White and Red_vs_White). Interestingly, the 24 most common overlapped DEGs were involved in photosynthesis, respiration, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging. Of these DEGs, four genes involved in photosynthesis and two genes involved in pigment synthesis were highly expressed, implying that some genes could be implemented to cope with different light spectra by regulating the expression of DEGs involved in the corresponding metabolic pathways. In conclusion, our study characterizes physiological responses of potato to different light qualities and identifies potential pathways and candidate genes involved in these responses, thus providing a basis for further research on artificial light regulation of potato plant growth.


Potato Different light spectra RNA-seq Physiological response Differentially expressed genes 



The study was funded by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11674174), Jiangsu Vocational College of Agriculture and Forestry Research Project (2016kj002), Top-notch Academic Program Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PPZY2015B173) and National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFB0403903).

Author contributions

ZX conceived the study and amended the manuscript. JX, ZY, YW and ZX performed experiments and data analysis. JX wrote the paper. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianmin Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhiming Yan
    • 2
  • Zhigang Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuanhua Wang
    • 2
  • Zhenqiang Xie
    • 2
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Vocational College of Agriculture and ForestryJurongChina

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