Glycoalkaloids are sterol-derived neurotoxic defence compounds that occur within the family Solanaceae (eg potato, tomato and eggplant). The most common glycoalkaloids in cultivated varieties of potato are α-solanine and α-chaconine. They are present in all parts of the plant, but sometimes at levels rendering tubers unsuitable, or even dangerous, for human consumption. Our goal is to reduce problems relating to glycoalkaloids in processing, production and consumption of potatoes, by increasing knowledge about glycoalkaloid biosynthesis and the changes of glycoalkaloid levels that occur in tubers from harvest to consumer.
We study the synthesis of sterols and glycoalkaloids in potatoes from different perspectives, including:
Technically we use a combination of different methods within molecular biology, plant transgenics and analytical chemistry.
Arnqvist, L., Dutta, P., Jonsson, L., Sitbon, F. 2003. Reduction of glycoalkloid levels in transgenic potato plants by overexpression of a type-1 sterol methyltransferase cDNA. Plant Physiology 131:1792-1799
Arnqvist, L., Persson, M., Jonsson, L., Dutta, P., Sitbon, F. 2008. Overexpression of CYP710A1 and CYP710A4 in transgenic Arabidopsis plants increases the level of stigmasterol at the expense of sitosterol. Planta 227:309-317
Beste, L., Nahar, N., Dalman, K., Fujioka, S., Jonsson, L., Dutta, P., Sitbon, F. 2011. Synthesis of hydroxylated sterols in transgenic Arabidopsis plants alters growth and steroid metabolism. Plant Physiology 157:426-440