Li Shi, Laura de Biolley, Maroof Ahmed Shaikh, Michiel E. de Vries, Sybille Ursula Mittmann, Richard G. F. Visser, Salome Prat, Christian W. B. Bachem

Aging later but faster: how StCDF1 regulates senescence in Solanum tuberosum

  • Plant Science
  • Physiology

Summary In potato, maturity is assessed by leaf senescence, which, in turn, affects yield and tuber quality traits. Previously, we showed that the CYCLING DOF FACTOR1 (StCDF1) locus controls leaf maturity in addition to the timing of tuberization. Here, we provide evidence that StCDF1 controls senescence onset separately from senescence progression and the total life cycle duration. We used molecular–biological approaches (days after planting (DAP)‐seq) to identify a direct downstream target of StCDF1, named ORESARA1 (StORE1S02), which is a NAC transcription factor acting as a positive senescence regulator. By overexpressing StORE1S02 in the long life cycle genotype, early onset of senescence was shown, but the total life cycle remained long. At the same time, StORE1S02 knockdown lines have a delayed senescence onset. Furthermore, we show that StORE1 proteins play an indirect role in sugar transport from source to sink by regulating expression of SWEET sugar efflux transporters during leaf senescence. This study clarifies the important link between tuber formation and senescence and provides insight into the molecular regulatory network of potato leaf senescence onset. We propose a complex role of StCDF1 in the regulation of potato plant senescence.

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