Relation of tuber maturity and of storage factors to potato dormancy
AuthorJ. T. Rosa
Author AffiliationsJ. T. Rosa was Assistant Professor of Truck Crops and Associate Plant Breeder in the Experiment Station.
Hilgardia 3(4):99-124. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n04p099. March 1928.
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Though the buds on a newly harvested potato tuber do not grow for sometime after the whole or a part of it is planted, even under conditions favorable for growth, they sprout rapidly after the tuber has been held in storage for a period of from a few weeks to several months. The time after harvesting during which these buds will not sprout, or do so very slowly, is called the dormant period. The causes of the inception of this condition are unknown. Schmid(17) and Appleman(3) suggested that its continuance is largely due to a lack of oxygen in the internal tissues. Appleman showed that when the periderm was removed, or when oxygen was introduced by other means, sprouting of dormant tubers was hastened.
Knowledge of the conditions causing dormancy, and of methods for shortening or “breaking” the dormant period, are of practical value. The growing season in California and in the southern states is long enough to produce two crops of potatoes yearly. To do this economically, it is necessary to use tubers produced by the early or spring crop, as seed for the late or fall crop. The period intervening between the two crops is so short, however, that the dormancy of the spring crop tubers often results in slow and irregular sprouting, if they are used for planting the fall crop. Another aspect of the dormancy problem is in connection with storage of table or seed potatoes, where it is desired to continue the dormant condition as long as possible.
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