Physiological ageing of Russet Burbank seed potatoes: effects on seed tuber quality, plant development, and yield Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/np193f50s

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  • During physiological ageing of seed potatoes, the stored tuber undergoes certain biochemical changes which cause the breaking of dormancy and the initiation of bud growth. The ageing process can be manipulated through storage temperature and duration. Higher temperatures usually accelerate seed tuber ageing. In order to define the process of physiological ageing and develop optimum ageing treatments, seed potatoes were stored at 4.4°C and then warmed to either 10.0°C (1984) or 15.6°C (1985) for 0, 2, 5, and 8 weeks prior to planting. Levels of total, reducing, and sucrose sugars, respiratory activity, free amino acids, soluble protein, and phosphorylase activity were monitored weekly. Field studies were conducted to determine the effects of seed storage temperature and duration on plant development and yield. Three sites with different lengths of growing season were selected. Warming seed to 10.0°C and 15.6°C greatly accelerated sprouting ability in storage. Apical dominance was evident in seed which had been stored for long periods at these elevated temperatures. Total, reducing, and sucrose sugars declined during storage at 10.0°C, indicating both a suppressing effect of elevated temperature on sugar fractions and increasing metabolic energy demands. Conversely, both reducing and total sugars increased over time in seed held at 4.4°C, eventually reaching a constant level. Sucrose declined to a minimum and then fluctuated randomly with additional time at this temperature. Phosphorylase activity increased dramatically approximately five weeks after testing began in tubers stored at both 4.4°C and 15.6°C. Activity then declined two weeks later and remained constant throughout the study. Free amino acids decreased to a low level during storage at both temperatures, reached a constant state, and then slowly increased with additional storage time. Soluble protein levels initially increased during storage, but then declined. Respiratory activity, as indicated by the production of formazan, remained fairly constant throughout storage at both temperatures. Plant stands were not affected by storage temperature. Seed warmed to 10.0°C and 15.6°C generally emerged faster and established a canopy earlier in the season than seed held at at 4.4°C. Differences in plant size and canopy density diminished rapidly as the season progressed. Numbers of aboveground stems per hill increased with time at 10.0°C and 15.6°C. Storage treatment did not affect time of tuber set or plant senescence. Storage treatments significantly affected yields at one loca tion in 1984. Seed held continuously at 4.4°C produced more undersized tubers than any other treatment at Corvallis (medium length season). Treatments significantly affected yields at all three sites in 1985. At Powell Butte (short season), seed held at 4.4°C yielded more than seed warmed to 15.6°C, and produced significantly higher yields of U.S. No. 1 tubers than any other treatment. Seed warmed at 15.6°C for 2 weeks yielded significantly more culls than any other treatment. At Corvallis, (medium length season) seed stored at 15.6°C for 5 weeks produced significantly higher total yields than any other treatment. Yields of U.S. No. 1 tubers at Hermiston (long season) were higher for seed held continuously at 4.4°C, while seed warmed at 15.6°C for 5 weeks produced more undersized tubers than any other treatment. It appears that length of growing season, plant growth patterns, and plant types combine to determine yield response to seed conditioning. Seed conditioned at higher temperatures emerged early, produced large numbers of aboveground stems per hill, and performed best in an area with a medium growing season, but did not appear to be well suited for areas of either short or long seasons. Seed held continuously at 4.4°C emerged late, produced few above-ground stems per hill, and produced higher U.S. No. 1 yields than seed conditioned at the higher temperatures, in areas with a long or short season. Powell Butte (short season) experienced a late spring frost in 1985. It is possible that due to less advanced foliage growth at the time, plants from seed held at 4.4°C were not as severely damaged as the plants from warmed seed, explaining high yields produced by cool stored seed in this short season area.
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  • 1986-06

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