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Silencing of vacuolar invertase and asparagine synthetase genes and its impact on acrylamide formation of fried potato products

Zhu, Xiaobiao, Gong, Huiling, He, Qunyan, Zeng, Zixian, Busse, James S., Jin, Weiwei, Bethke, Paul C., Jiang, Jiming
Plant biotechnology journal 2016 v.14 no.2 pp. 709-718
French fries, RNA interference, acrylamides, asparagine, aspartate-ammonia ligase, average daily intake, beta-fructofuranosidase, carcinogens, cooking, cultivars, developed countries, foods, fructose, genes, glucose, humans, potato chips, potatoes, reducing sugars, tubers, vacuoles
Acrylamide is produced in a wide variety of carbohydrate‐rich foods during high‐temperature cooking. Dietary acrylamide is a suspected human carcinogen, and health concerns related to dietary acrylamide have been raised worldwide. French fries and potato chips contribute a significant proportion to the average daily intake of acrylamide, especially in developed countries. One way to mitigate health concerns related to acrylamide is to develop potato cultivars that have reduced contents of the acrylamide precursors asparagine, glucose and fructose in tubers. We generated a large number of silencing lines of potato cultivar Russet Burbank by targeting the vacuolar invertase gene VInv and the asparagine synthetase genes StAS1 and StAS2 with a single RNA interference construct. The transcription levels of these three genes were correlated with reducing sugar (glucose and fructose) and asparagine content in tubers. Fried potato products from the best VInv/StAS1/StAS2‐triple silencing lines contained only one‐fifteenth of the acrylamide content of the controls. Interestingly, the extent of acrylamide reduction of the best triple silencing lines was similar to that of the best VInv‐single silencing lines developed previously from the same potato cultivar Russet Burbank. These results show that an acrylamide mitigation strategy focused on developing potato cultivars with low reducing sugars is likely to be an effective and sufficient approach for minimizing the acrylamide‐forming potential of French fry processing potatoes.