Coincidence of potato CONSTANS (StCOL1) expression and light cannot explain night-break repression of tuberization

Faline D.M. Plantenga*, Ep Heuvelink, Juriaan A. Rienstra, Richard G.F. Visser, Christian W.B. Bachem, Leo F.M. Marcelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In the obligate short-day potato Solanum tuberosum group Andigena (Solanum andigena), short days, or actually long nights, induce tuberization. Applying a night break in the middle of this long night represses tuberization. However, it is not yet understood how this repression takes place. We suggest a coincidence model, similar to the model explaining photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis. We hypothesize that potato CONSTANS (StCOL1), expressed in the night of a short day, is stabilized by the light of the night break. This allows for StCOL1 to repress tuberization through induction of StSP5G, which represses the tuberization signal StSP6A. We grew S. andigena plants in short days, with night breaks applied at different time points during the dark period, either coinciding with StCOL1 expression or not. StCOL1 protein presence, StCOL1 expression and expression of downstream targets StSP5G and StSP6A were measured during a 24-h time course. Our results show that a night break applied during peak StCOL1 expression is unable to delay tuberization, while coincidence with low or no StCOL1 expression leads to severely repressed tuberization. These results imply that coincidence between StCOL1 expression and light does not explain why a night break represses tuberization in short days. Furthermore, stable StCOL1 did not always induce StSP5G, and upregulated StSP5G did not always lead to fully repressed StSP6A. Our findings suggest there is a yet unknown level of control between StCOL1, StSP5G and StSP6A expression, which determines whether a plant tuberizes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-263
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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