Sweet potato ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase small subunit affects vegetative growth, starch content and storage root yield

Weijuan Fan, Yuqin Wang, Li Zhang, Yijie Fang, Mengxiao Yan, Ling Yuan, Jun Yang, Hongxia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of storage roots is a key factor determining the yields of crop plants, including sweet potato. Here, using combined bioinformatic and genomic approaches, we identified a sweet potato yield-related gene, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGP) small subunit (IbAPS). We found that IbAPS positively affects AGP activity, transitory starch biosynthesis, leaf development, chlorophyll metabolism, and photosynthesis, ultimately affecting the source strength. IbAPS overexpression in sweet potato led to increased vegetative biomass and storage root yield. RNAi of IbAPS resulted in reduced vegetative biomass, accompanied with a slender stature and stunted root development. In addition to the effects on root starch metabolism, we found that IbAPS affects other storage root development-associated events, including lignification, cell expansion, transcriptional regulation, and production of the storage protein sporamins. A combinatorial analysis based on transcriptomes, as well as morphological and physiological data, revealed that IbAPS affects several pathways that determine development of vegetative tissues and storage roots. Our work establishes an important role of IbAPS in concurrent control of carbohydrate metabolism, plant growth, and storage root yield. We showed that upregulation of IbAPS results in superior sweet potato with increased green biomass, starch content, and storage root yield. The findings expand our understanding of the functions of AGP enzymes and advances our ability to increase the yield of sweet potato and, perhaps, other crop plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107796
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (grants 2019YFD1000700 , 2019YFD1000701-2 , 2019YFD1000703 , and 2019YFD1000704-2 ), The Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality ( 22JC1401300 ), the Shanghai Municipal Afforestation & City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation Administration ( G192413 , G192414 , G212402 , G222411 and G222413 ), the State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture ( KF2019 ), the Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS , and the Bureau of Science and Technology for Development CAS ( KFJ-BRP-017-42 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Masson SAS


  • ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase
  • ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase small subunit
  • Starch
  • Storage root yield
  • Sweet potato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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