Author

Shau-Ron Han

Date of Award:

1980

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Plants, Soils, and Climate

Advisor/Chair:

W. F. Campbell

Abstract

Solanine, the green substance in potato, Solanum tuberosum L., tubers, is a toxic glycoalkaloid that is a potential human health hazard. To control the formation of this glycoalkaloid a greater understanding of its site of synthesis is needed. Labelling of solanidine, a direct precursor in the biosynthesis of solanine, with digitonin may indirectly locate the site of solanine synthesis in tubers. A study using ultrastructural cytochemical techniques was initiated to explore this possibility.

Sprouted tips and peridermal complex (periderm and cortex) tissue were fixed three different ways: (1) glutaraldehyde only, (2) osmium tetroxide and glutaraldehyde, and (3) glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide-digitonin mixture. The glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide-digitonin mixture provided the best fixation for this study and was used throughout.

An alkaloid extract of potato tissues incubated with digitonin resulted in a precipitate being formed. Application of the alkaloid extract to TLC plates before and after incubating with digitonin indicated only solanidine was removed by the digitonin.

In the electron micrographs the solanidine-digitonin complex was recognized as darkly stained needles or spicules. These spicules were observed mostly in the vacuoles in the sprouted tips. However, a few spicules were also noted in the cytoplasm. Relatively few spicules were observed in the peridermal tissue.

Comments

Solanine, the green substance in potato, Solanum tuberosum L., tubers, is a toxic glycoalkaloid that is a potential human health hazard. To control the formation of this glycoalkaloid a greater understanding of its site of synthesis is needed. Labelling of solanidine, a direct precursor in the biosynthesis of solanine, with digitonin may indirectly locate the site of solanine synthesis in tubers. A study using ultrastructural cytochemical techniques was initiated to explore this possibility.

Sprouted tips and peridermal complex (periderm and cortex) tissue were fixed three different ways: (1) glutaraldehyde only, (2) osmium tetroxide and glutaraldehyde, and (3) glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide-digitonin mixture. The glutaraldehyde-osmium tetroxide-digitonin mixture provided the best fixation for this study and was used throughout.

An alkaloid extract of potato tissues incubated with digitonin resulted in a precipitate being formed. Application of the alkaloid extract to TLC plates before and after incubating with digitonin indicated only solanidine was removed by the digitonin.

In the electron micrographs the solanidine-digitonin complex was recognized as darkly stained needles or spicules. These spicules were observed mostly in the vacuoles in the sprouted tips. However, a few spicules were also noted in the cytoplasm. Relatively few spicules were observed in the peridermal tissue.

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