Development of long dormancy and high starch potato cultivar
Research project 3
Project researchers: Dr. Dani Eshel, Dr. Samuel Bocobza and Dr. Paula Teper-Bamnolker
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the world’s most important crop plants. Potato tubers are rich in starch and contain minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids. Its nutrient composition and high starch content serve as a staple food, animal feed, and feedstock for many industrial purposes. After harvest, tuber buds are generally dormant and will not sprout, even if the tubers are placed under optimal conditions for sprouting. The duration of the dormancy period depends mainly on the genotype, but other factors, like cold-inducing sweetening (CIS), resulting from starch degradation, were found to be involved. Undesirable sweetening and sprouting of the tubers during storage is a severe problem for the fresh market and industrial processing. The ability to control the dormancy period and starch content in stored tubers is a major concern for the potato industry. The hydrolytic pathway of starch, which is the primary source for tuber sweetening, involves α-amylase (AMY) and β-amylase (BAM) activity.
Research project 3
Frying test for CRISPR cultivars during cold storage.
Research project 3 - Dr. Dani Eshel and Dr. Samuel Bocobza
Co-silencing of specific AMY and BAM genes extended the dormancy period and caused higher starch content in the tuber.
Our preliminary results showed that transgenic plants (RNAi) exhibited reduced specific AMY expression, demonstrated an extended dormancy period. Co-silencing of specific AMY and BAM doubled the dormancy period and caused higher starch content. We suggest employing the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to mutate AMY and BAM genes. Later we intend to combine these lines with non-sweetening CRISPR cultivars, already developed in our lab, to produce a “Super Potato” with high starch content, long dormancy, and low-CIS characteristic.

Dr. Dani Eshel
Project researcher

Department of Postharvest Science,
Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Dr. Dani Eshel

Research areas:

  • Dormancy release and apical dominance in tubers and bulbs.
  • Alternative methods to inhibit sprouting of stored tubers, roots and bulbs.
  • Caspase-like proteins and their role in programmed cell death and autophagy.
  • Combining environment-friendly methods to improve postharvest disease control synergistically.

Dr. Samuel Bocobza
Project researcher

Dep. Ornamental Plants and Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

ד"ר שמואל בוקובזא

Research areas:

  • The differentiation, regeneration, and transformation of plant cells.
  • Our laboratory develops a systematic approach to advance genetic engineering in crops by combining genome editing and somatic embryogenesis technologies.

Dr. Paula Teper-Bamnolker
Project researcher

Department of Postharvest Science,
Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.

Dr. Paula Teper-Bamnolker

Research areas:

  • Improving the potato postharvest traits by genomic editing.
  • Development and improvement of transformation system in potato.

Research partner:

Dr. Bolaji Babajide Salam

Dr. Bolaji Babajide Salam
Postdoctoral researcher

Research areas:
Improving the potato postharvest traits by genomic editing.

institution:
Department of Postharvest Science, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Institute.