University of California

Effects of chemical treatments on dormant potato tubers


J. T. Rosa

Author Affiliations

J. T. Rosa was Assistant Professor of Truck Crops and Associate Plant Breeder in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 3(4):125-142. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n04p125. March 1928.

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The treatment of dormant tubers with various substances to hasten sprouting has been extensively investigated, but as yet no method of treatment has been adopted by commercial growers. While it is believed that such matters as tuber maturity, storage temperature, and the normal length of dormant period for the variety are important factors, the use of chemical stimulants for seed treatment is also likely to be of practical value in many cases. The word “stimulant” is used to designate substances which are probably not used as nutrients, yet are capable of accelerating the plants’ activities.

In this paper will be presented the results of a number of experiments, designed largely to determine effective methods for the stimulation of sprouting in dormant seed potatoes. Studies concerning the effect of such treatments upon the metabolism of the tuber are under way, but the discussion of this phase of the work will not be entered upon at this time.

Previous Work with Chemical Treatments

McCallum(4) found that sprouting was hastened by exposing potatoes to the fumes of ethyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, ammonia, and gasoline, at the rate of ½ to 1 cc. in a 5-liter chamber for 24 hours. He also obtained positive results with ethyl bromide and with ethylene chloride. Appleman(1) found that treatment with hydrogen peroxide gave positive results.

Literature Cited

[1] Appleman C. O. Study of the rest period in potato tubers. Maryland Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1914. 183:181-226.

[2] Denny F. E. Hastening the sprouting of dormant potato tubers. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1926. 13:118-125. DOI: 10.2307/2435352 [CrossRef]

[3] Denny F. E. Second report on the use of chemicals for hastening the sprouting of dormant potato tubers. Amer. Jour. Bot. 1926. 13:386-396. DOI: 10.2307/2435440 [CrossRef]

[4] McCallum W. B. Ann. Report Arizona Agr. Exp. Sta. 1909. 11:584-586.

[5] Rosa J. T. Abbreviation of the dormant period in potato tubers. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 1923. 20:180-187.

[6] Schlumberger O. Die Kartoffel im Licht Physiologischer Forschung. Angew. Botanik. 1926. 8:262-274.

Rosa J. 1928. Effects of chemical treatments on dormant potato tubers. Hilgardia 3(4):125-142. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n04p125
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