The Sucrose non-fermenting-1-related protein kinase-1 (SnRK1) gene has been
found to increase starch accumulation in plants. However, its role in
improving starch quality has not been reported. China Agricultural
University's Zhitong Ren, together with colleagues studied the IbSnRK1 gene
from sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), which was found to be highly expressed
in the storage roots of sweet potato.
IbSnRK1 overexpression increased starch content in sweet potato roots.
Moreover, it also decreased the proportion of amylose, enlarged the granule
size and improved the degree of crystallinity and gelatinization in
transgenic sweet potato. This reveals that SnRK1 plays a role in improving
the starch quality of plants.
Overexpression of IbSnRK1 also led to the upregulation of the genes and the
enhancement of key enzymes involved in the starch synthesis pathway. It also
increased the contents of important precursors for starch synthesis in
transgenic sweet potato.
These results indicate that IbSnRK1 improves starch content and quality.
This gene can be instrumental in improving starch content and quality in
sweet potato and other plants.