Biotech Updates

Heat Stress Study Could Protect Potato Yields

August 14, 2013

A new study at the James Hutton Institute aims to identify genetic markers for heat stress tolerance that could  help future breeding programs to develop new potato cultivars less susceptible to high temperatures. The study examined the impact of high temperatures following acclimation of mature tuberizing plants to typical and elevated daytime and nighttime temperatures.

Explaining the importance of the new study, Dr. Mark Taylor of the James Hutton Institute said: "Although studies have previously examined heat stress responses in potato and other plants using a range of technologies, these have primarily focussed on responses to heat shock or the immediate acclimatory phase following a shift to elevated temperature."

Taylor added that they performed combined physiological, biochemical and molecular analyses with detailed time series of transcript and metabolite profiles in both leaves and tubers. This analysis informs the underlying genetic and biochemical drivers of the plant's physiological response and provides the researchers with potential targets for developing potato varieties with sustained yield even in hotter temperatures.

For more information about this research, read the news release from the James Hutton Institute available at: