The periderm is a protective corky tissue that is formed through the cambial activity of phellogen cells, when the outer epidermis is damaged. Timely periderm formation is critical to prevent pathogen invasion and water loss. The outer layers of the potato periderm, the tuber skin, serves as a model to study cork development. Early in tuber development the phellogen becomes active and produces the skin. During tuber maturation it becomes inactive and the skin adheres to the tuber flesh. The characterization of potato phellogen may contribute to the management of costly agricultural problems related to incomplete skin-set and the resulting skinning injuries, and provide us with new knowledge regarding cork development in planta. A transcriptome of potato tuber phellogen isolated by laser capture microdissection indicated similarity to vascular cambium and the cork from trees. Highly expressed genes and transcription factors indicated that phellogen activation involves cytokinesis and gene reprograming for the establishment of a dedifferentiation state; whereas inactivation is characterized by activity of genes that direct organ identity in meristem and cell-wall modifications. The expression of selected genes was analyzed using qPCR in native and wound periderm at distinct developmental stages. This allowed the identification of genes involved in periderm formation and maturation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Israel, grant number 20-10-0065. The authors would like to thank Zechariah Tanami from the Volcani Center for technical assistance. The research is a contribution of ARO, the Volcani Center.
© 2019, The Author(s).