ISSN 10214437, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 2012, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 451–466. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Original Russian Text © N.P. Aksenova, T.N. Konstantinova, S.A. Golyanovskaya, L.I. Sergeeva, G.A. Romanov, 2012, published in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2012, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 491–508.
Tuber formation is one of the means for plant veg
etative propagation. Along with fundamental investi
gation of the hormonal regulation of flowering,
M.Kh. Chailakhyan paid a serious attention to the
process of tuberization. In his special publication ,
he had carefully analyzed data concerning the effects
of main plant hormones–gibberellins, cytokinins,
auxins, and abscisic acid–on the formation of stolons
and tuber induction, initiation, and growth. The
results of his wellknown experiments on grafting of
vegetative and flowering tobacco plants to shortday
potato species called attention to the relationships
between photoperiodic responses of flowering and
tuber formation and became one of foundations for
modern moleculargenetic studies on photoperiodic
regulation of tuberization . Chailakhyan repeatedly
emphasized the adaptive significance of tuberization,
which is related to the conditions of tuberiferous spe
cies origin and habitat and is a result of their develop
mental adaptation to these conditions. At the same
time, tuberization is of prime importance not only for
survival of plant organisms themselves but also for
human life support. This is primarily related to potato,
which is now the fourth in importance plant producer
of food and industrial resources.
External factors, primarily photoperiod, tempera
ture, and supply with carbohydrates and nitrogen
affect strongly potato tuber formation.
Like in most tuberiferous species, potato tuberiza
tion requires short days (SD); however, various potato
subspecies and cultivars differ substantially in the
extent of tuberization dependence on the day length.
This is related to their origin and breeding strategies
. Potato cultivars from the subspecies
manifest weak SD response of the quantitative type
and can produce tubers in the wide range of day
lengths. Wild potato forms and plants from the subspe
manifest obligate photoperiodic
response of tuberization: they transit to tuberization
only after induction by SD.
Another environmental factor favoring production
and growth of potato tubers is a moderate decrease of
, especially at night time. An
increase in the night temperatures during tuberization
reduces sharply the number and weight of
developing tubers .
An essential condition for tuber formation is a suf
ficiently high level of carbohydrate accumulation.
Potato tuberization is preceded by photosynthesis
activation, assimilate accumulation in stems, and their
intense transport toward underground organs .
Sucrose is not only the source of energy and substrate
for starch biosynthesis but also an efficient inducer of
tuberization. This has been shown in early studies on
tuberization in vitro  and current studies performed
on transgenic potato plants from subspecies
 with activated sucrose biosyn
thesis in the leaves and its enhanced transport to sto
Hormonal Regulation of Tuber Formation in Potato Plants
N. P. Aksenova
, T. N. Konstantinova
, S. A. Golyanovskaya
L. I. Sergeeva
, and G. A. Romanov
Timiryazev Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Botanicheskaya ul. 35, Moscow, 127276 Russia;
fax: 7 (499) 9778018; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Belozersky Institute of PhysicoChemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Received June 6, 2011
—Tuber formation is a complex process comprising several stages: stolon formation and growth,
induction of tuberization, tuber initiation, and tuber growth. This review considers successive stages of tuber
formation and their hormonal regulation. Special attention is paid to the effects on tuber formation of such
phytohormones as gibberellins, cytokinins, jasmonic acid, and auxins. Physiological and some molecular
genetic aspects of their action on tuber photoperiodic induction and initiation are discussed.
Keywords: Solanum tuberosum
, tuber formation, induction, initiation, tuber growth, phytohormones, hor
: BA—benzyladenine; Ck—cytokinins; FA—fatty
acids; GTA—glucoside of tuberonic acid; JA—jasmonic acid;
LD—long day; LOX—lipoxygenases; SD—short day; TA—