Shoot branching is an important aspect of plant architecture because it substantially affects plant biology and agricultural performance. Sugars play an important role in the induction of shoot branching in several species, including potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). However, the mechanism by which sugars affect shoot branching remains mostly unknown. In the present study, we addressed this question using sugar-mediated induction of bud outgrowth in potato stems under etiolated conditions. Our results indicate that sucrose feeding to detached stems promotes the accumulation of cytokinin (CK), as well as the expression of vacuolar invertase (VInv), an enzyme that contributes to sugar sink strength. These effects of sucrose were suppressed by CK synthesis and perception inhibitors, while CK supplied to detached stems induced bud outgrowth and VInv activity in the absence of sucrose. CK-induced bud outgrowth was suppressed in vinv mutants, which we generated by genome editing. Altogether, our results identify a branching-promoting module, and suggest that sugar-induced lateral bud outgrowth is in part promoted by the induction of CK-mediated VInv activity.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© American Society of Plant Biologists 2021.