Potato Tuber Nutritional Quality

Compositional nutritional analyses identify potato as an excellent source of nutrition. Hutton research has studied several key beneficial nutrients found in tubers including carotenoids, anthocyanins and vitamin C. Our carotenoid research resulted in the engineering of nutritionally significant levels of the provitamin A beta carotene and the accumulation of ketocarotenoids such as astaxanthin. We also demonstrated some of the mechanisms important for tuber carotenoid content using molecular physiological and genetic approaches. The regulation of the pathways that lead to the formation of the blue/purple anthocyanin pigments has also been a topic of research. Recent genetic studies are focussed on understanding vitamin C accumulation in tubers, as potato remains an important source of this vitamin in our diet. These studies provide the background knowledge to breed potatoes with improved nutritional quality.