The patatin multicopy gene family encodes the major storage protein in potato tubers and is organized as a single cluster in the potato genome. We sequenced a 154-kb bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone containing a portion of the patatin gene cluster. Two putatively functional patatin genes were found in this BAC. These two genes are embedded within arrays of patatin pseudogenes. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation method we demonstrate that the dramatic increase of patatin gene expression during the transition from stolons to tubers coincides with an increase of histone H4 lysine acetylation. We used 39 rapid amplification of cDNA ends to profile expression of different patatin genes during tuber development. The profiling results revealed differential expression patterns of specific patatin gene groups throughout six different stages of tuber development. One group of patatin gene transcripts, designated patatin gene group A, was found to be the most abundant group during all stages of tuber development. Other patatin gene groups, with a 48-bp insertion in the 39-untranslated region, are not expressed in stolons but display a gradual increase in expression level following the onset of tuberization. These results demonstrate that the patatin genes exhibit alterations in chromatin state and differential transcriptional regulation during the developmental transition from stolons into tubers, in which there is an increased demand for protein storage.