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Article|01 Feb 2021|OPEN
The H+-pyrophosphatase IbVP1 regulates carbon flux to influence the starch metabolism and yield of sweet potato
Weijuan Fan1,2, Yandi Zhang1,3, Yinliang Wu1,3, Wenzhi Zhou1, Jun Yang2, Ling Yuan4, Peng Zhang3,1, & Hongxia Wang1,
1National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China
2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics and Resources, Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201602, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 20 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.20
Views: 283

Received: 09 Jul 2020
Revised: 19 Nov 2020
Accepted: 28 Nov 2020
Published online: 01 Feb 2021


Storage roots of sweet potato are important sink organs for photoassimilates and energy, and carbohydrate metabolism in storage roots affects yield and starch production. Our previous study showed that sweet potato H+-pyrophosphatase (IbVP1) plays a vital role in mitigating iron deficiency and positively controls fibrous root growth. However, its roles in regulating starch production in storage roots have not been investigated. In this study, we found that IbVP1 overexpression in sweet potato improved the photosynthesis ability of and sucrose content in source leaves and increased both the starch content in and total yield of sink tissues. Using 13C-labeled sucrose feeding, we determined that IbVP1 overexpression promotes phloem loading and sucrose long-distance transport and enhances Pi-use efficiency. In sweet potato plants overexpressing IbVP1, the expression levels of starch biosynthesis pathway genes, especially AGPase and GBSSI, were upregulated, leading to changes in the structure, composition, and physicochemical properties of stored starch. Our study shows that the IbVP1 gene plays an important role in regulating starch metabolism in sweet potato. Application of the VP1 gene in genetic engineering of sweet potato cultivars may allow the improvement of starch production and yield under stress or nutrient-limited conditions.