The common potato, Solanum tuberosum L., is the fourth most important agricultural crop worldwide. Until recently, vegetative propagation by tubers has been the main method of potato cultivation. A shift of interest to sexual potato reproduction by true botanical seeds is due to the appearance of a new hybrid seed breeding strategy whose successful application for many crop species has been supported by male sterility. This investigation was focused on the study of differences in the metabolite profiles of anthers at the mature pollen stage from male-fertile and male-sterile genotypes of S. tuberosum. Application of gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry method allowed detection of metabolic profiles for 192 compounds. Further data analysis with several libraries fully identified 75 metabolites; a similar amount was defined up to the classes. Metabolic profiles in the anthers of fertile genotypes were significantly distinguished from male-sterile ones by the accumulation of carbohydrates, while the anthers of sterile genotypes contained a higher amount of amino acids. In comparison with male-fertile plants, male-sterile genotypes had undeveloped pollen grain characters; i.e., smaller grain size, a thicker exine, “permanent tetrads” that failed to disintegrate into microspores, and the absence of pollen apertures that might be due to a disorder in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism