Significant progress has been made in understanding of carbohydrate (starch) biosynthesis through molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques. Genetic modification of plants has a great potential to produce novel carbohydrates with unique properties that cannot be generated by conventional breeding approaches. Starch is the predominant carbohydrate in potatoes and serves as an energy reserve for the plant. Genetic engineering of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber can revolutionise the synthesis of unique starches with altered physical and chemical properties that are engineered to meet the specific industrial requirements. In addition to expression of foreign genes involved in carbohydrate biosynthesis, genes regulating the carbohydrate metabolism, transport and resource partitioning have also been achieved. Here we summarise the recent progress made towards modifications of the biosynthetic pathways by which potato can produce novel carbohydrates. Further, we discuss the prospects of engineering potatoes for production of structural and non-structural carbohydrates.
Part of the book: Potato