The potato suberin feruloyl transferase FHT which accumulates in the phellogen is induced by wounding and regulated by abscisic and salicylic acids

The present study provides new insights on the role of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) suberin feruloyl transferase FHT in native and wound tissues, leading to conclusions about hitherto unknown properties of the phellogen. In agreement with the enzymatic role of FHT, it is shown that its transcriptional activation and protein accumulation are specific to tissues that undergo suberization such as the root boundary layers of the exodermis and the endodermis, along with the tuber periderm. Remarkably, FHT expression and protein accumulation within the periderm is restricted to the phellogen derivative cells with phellem identity. FHT levels in the periderm are at their peak near harvest during periderm maturation, with the phellogen becoming meristematically inactive and declining thereafter. However, periderm FHT levels remain high for several months after harvest, suggesting that the inactive phellogen retains the capacity to synthesize ferulate esters. Tissue wounding induces FHT expression and the protein accumulates from the first stages of the healing process onwards. FHT is up-regulated by abscisic acid and down-regulated by salicylic acid, emphasizing the complex regulation of suberin synthesis and wound healing. These findings open up new prospects important for the clarification of the suberization process and yield important information with regard to the skin quality of potatoes ​
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