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Potato tuberization in hydroponics


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Yang, Simon Shengyuan 2004 , 'Potato tuberization in hydroponics', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The project investigated potato tuber initiation in hydroponics and was initiated by
Sunrise Seed Potatoes Pty Ltd, a company specialising in potato minituber
production in Tasmania, Australia. The initial focus of the project was to describe in
detail the rate and timing of stolon and tuber development in nutrient film technique
(NFf) hydroponics. A developmental scale consisting of five stages, each based on
characteristic morphological changes, was developed to enable quantitative
evaluation of the effects of experimental treatments on tuberization. Nutrient uptake
rate at plant development stages was studied in different seasons. Uptake rate of
water and nutrient elements generally displayed a decline from early to late stage
regardless of season. Uptake rate of H+ displayed significant variation between
seasons and did not follow the characteristic decline.
A novel system for frequent and accurate non-destructive assessment of stolon and
tuber growth using webcams and image analysis software was developed and
validated. Stolon and tubers displayed a diurnal growth pattern with rapid
elongation commencing mid to late afternoon and ceasing early morning, followed
by a period of slower growth rate often leading to cessation of growth or shrinkage
at around midday. Growth rate varied under different seasonal and environmental
conditions and between stolons of the same plant. The initiation of stolon tip
swelling always occurred in the late afternoon or early evening. This was the first
report of the precise timing of the commencement of stolon swelling in potatoes.
The timing of swelling initiation coincided with the timing of the rapid growth of
stolons and tubers in the diurnal cycle.
Tissue turgor in swelling tips was always higher than in elongating stolons
measured during the rapid plant growth period. Under inductive conditions, stolon
turgor at midday was found to be higher than under non-inductive conditions. This
provided evidence that turgor may be part of the stimulus for potato tuber initiation.
Further evidence supporting this theory was gained in an experiment where stolon
water potential was altered over a short period when initiation of swelling had just
commenced in a hydroponic crop. Stolon turgor at the period of rapid elongation
was decreased by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the nutrient solution or
increased by replacing the nutrient solution with distilled water. Rate of tuber
initiation was decreased in the PEG treatment and increased in the distilled water
treatment compared with standard nutrient solution.
This study demonstrated that NFT hydroponics is a valuable system for the whole
plant study of potato tuber initiation. The system facilitated non-destructive
assessment of stolon and tuber development and also the compact size of the
experimental system enabled treatments such as photoperiod and temperature to be
applied. Characteristic stolon diurnal growth patterns were documented for the first
time using the NFT hydroponic system, and this permitted the identification of the
timing of swelling of stolon tips. Turgor potential was proposed as part of the
stimulus for tuber initiation, with implications for potato crop management as
manipulation of turgor may be used to influence tuber initiation. Further
investigation of water relations under different inductive and non-inductive
treatments will improve our understanding in this exciting new area of study in
potato tuberization.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Yang, Simon Shengyuan
Keywords: Hydroponics, Potatoes
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author. The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

For consultation only. No loan or photocopying permitted until 8-6-2006. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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