A new study on sweet potato leaves and roots have analyzed the proteome of
sweet potato and has revealed new insights into the plant's genome. While
sweet potato has been widely cultivated and consumed for thousands of years,
scientists still do not much about its protein makeup.
Sweet potato has a complex genome and an even more complex chemical
composition, with low protein content in the roots (the part that people
eat) and many secondary metabolites in the leaves, making it difficult to
extract sufficient quantities of proteins for analysis.
The researchers extracted proteins from sweet potato root and leaf samples
and cut them into peptides, which they analyzed using liquid chromatography
and mass spectrometry. They identified 3,143 unique proteins from sweet
potato leaves and 2,928 from the roots. When they compared the proteomic
data with the genome of the sweet potato, the researchers identified some
regions in the published genome sequence where their data could provide
enhanced information. For example, the analysis predicted 741 new
protein-coding regions that previously were not thought to be genes. The
group says the results could be used to help further characterize and
bioforty the tuber.