Iwaki, T, et al., Metabolic Profiling of Transgenic Potato Expressing Arabidopsis Dehydration Response Element-Binding Protein 1a (Dreb1a). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013.
Untargeted metabolome analyses play a critical role in understanding possible metabolic fluctuations of crops under varying environmental conditions. This study reports metabolic profiles of transgenic potato tubers expressing the Arabidopsis DREB1A transcription factor gene, which induces expression of genes involved in environmental stress tolerance. A combination of targeted and untargeted metabolomics demonstrated considerable metabolome differences between the transgenic lines and nontransgenic parent cultivars. In the transgenic lines, stimulation of stress responses was suggested by elevated levels of the glutathione metabolite, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and by the accumulation of β-cyanoalanine, a byproduct of ethylene biosynthesis. These results suggest that the Arabidopsis DREB1A expression might directly or indirectly enhance endogenous potato stress tolerance systems. The results indicate that transgenesis events could alter the metabolic compositions in food crops, and therefore metabolomics analysis could be a most valuable tool to monitor such changes.