Genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis of the crop species potato will be isolated based on homology with known Arabidopsis genes. The screening will include cellulose synthase-like or CSL genes (possibly encoding mannan-, xyloglucan-, or xylan synthase), as well as genes involved in decorating the polysaccharide backbone (for instance a galactosyl transferase). In this way, the toolbox for potato fibre modification will be supplemented.
The biological function of the genes mentioned above will be revealed by generating transgenic potato lines combined with an in depth cell wall analysis. Next to this, new insights on the relevance of the individual polysaccharides in their cell wall context are anticipated. Finally, it will be investigated how down- regulation of a particular gene affects certain cell wall-related traits (mealy or hard cooking, easy or difficult starch recovery).
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