Metabolic diversity in tuber tissues of native Chiloe potatoes and commercial cultivars of Solanum tuberosum ssp tuberosum L.

Resumen:
The native potatoes (Solanum tuberosum ssp. tuberosum L.) cultivated on Chiloé Island in southern Chile have great variability in terms of tuber shape, size, color and flavor. These traits have been preserved throughout generations due to the geographical position of Chiloé, as well as the different uses given by local farmers. Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate the diversity of metabolites in skin and pulp tissues of eleven native accessions of potatoes from Chile, and evaluate the metabolite associations between tuber tissues. Methods: For a deeper characterization of these accessions, we performed a comprehensive metabolic study in skin and pulp tissues of tubers, 3 months after harvesting. Specific targeted quantification of metabolites using 96 well microplates, and high-performance liquid chromatography combined with non-targeted metabolite profiling by gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry were used in this study. Results: We observed differential levels of antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds between skin and pulp compared to a common commercial cultivar (Desireé). In addition, we uncovered considerable metabolite variability between different tuber tissues and between native potatoes. Network correlation analysis revealed different metabolite associations among tuber tissues that indicate distinct associations between primary metabolite and anthocyanin levels, and antioxidant activity in skin and pulp tissues. Moreover, multivariate analysis lead to the grouping of native and commercial cultivars based on metabolites from both skin and pulp tissues. Conclusions: As well as providing important information to potato producers and breeding programs on the levels of health relevant phytochemicals and other abundant metabolites such as starch, proteins and amino acids, this study highlights the associations of different metabolites in tuber skins and pulp, indicating the need for distinct strategies for metabolic engineering in these tissues. Furthermore, this study shows that native Chilean potato accessions have great potential as a natural source of phytochemicals

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