Effects of agricultural production systems and their components on protein profiles of potato tubers



A range of studies have compared the level of nutritionally relevant compounds in crops from organic and nonorganic farming systems, but there is very limited information on the effect of farming systems and their key components on the protein composition of plants. We addressed this gap by quantifying the effects of different farming systems and key components of such systems on the protein profiles of potato tubers. Tuber samples were produced in the Nafferton factorial systems study, a group of long-term, replicated factorial field experiments designed to identify and quantify the effect of fertility management methods, crop protection practices and rotational designs used in organic, low input and conventional production systems. Protein profiles were determined by 2-DE and subsequent protein identification by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS. Principal component analysis of 2-DE data showed that only fertility management practices (organic matter vs. mineral fertiliser based) had a significant effect on protein composition. Quantitative differences were detected in 160 of the 1100 tuber proteins separated by 2-DE. Proteins identified by MS are involved in protein synthesis and turnover, carbon and energy metabolism and defence responses, suggesting that organic fertilisation leads to an increased stress response in potato tubers.