Inversion induced Manihot esculenta stem tubers express key tuberization genes; Mec1, RZF, SuSy1 and PIN2

Plant Signaling & Behavior
Valerie Bowrin, Fedora Sutton


Cassava (M. esculenta) gives rise to unique underground stem tubers when stem cuttings are planted in an inverted orientation. The nutritional profile of the stem and root tubers were similar except for protein content which was higher in stem than in root tubers. RT-PCR revealed that several key genes (Mec1, RZF, SuSy1 and PIN2) involved in root tuberization were also expressed in these stem tubers. At five weeks post planting, these genes were expressed in roots and underground stems as in the mature tubers. However at 15 weeks post planting, they were expressed in both root and stem tubers but not in adventitious roots or in the non-tuberized stems. Expression of, the root auxin efflux carrier gene PIN2 in the stem tubers indicate a role for auxin in the stem tuberization process.


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