• Open Access

Overriding the co-limiting import of carbon and energy into tuber amyloplasts increases the starch content and yield of transgenic potato plants


* Correspondence (fax 221-470-5039; e-mail frank.ludewig@uni-koeln.de)


Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants simultaneously over-expressing a pea (Pisum sativum) glucose-6-phosphate/phosphate translocator (GPT) and an Arabidopsis thaliana adenylate translocator (NTT1) in tubers were generated. Double transformants exhibited an enhanced tuber yield of up to 19%, concomitant with an additional increased starch content of up to 28%, compared with control plants. The total starch content produced in tubers per plant was calculated to be increased by up to 44% in double transformants relative to the wild-type. Single over-expression of either gene had no effect on tuber starch content or tuber yield, suggesting that starch formation within amyloplasts is co-limited by the import of energy and the supply of carbon skeletons. As total adenosine diphosphate-glucose pyrophosphorylase and starch synthase activities remained unchanged in double transformants relative to the wild-type, they cannot account for the increased starch content found in tubers of double transformants. Rather, an optimized supply of amyloplasts with adenosine triphosphate and glucose-6-phosphate seems to favour increased starch synthesis, resulting in plants with increased starch content and yield of tubers.