Evaluation of growth performance and dry matter partitioning of four processing potato (Solanum tuberosum) cultivars

05 Jun 2008

Climate, cultivar, and crop management determine the growth and dry matter (dm) production of a potato (Solanum tuberosum) crop. drought and high temperature affect leaf area development and its persistence, and these in turn limit the photosynthetic activity of the crop and finally dm production and allocation. the objective of this experiment was to evaluate four potato cultivars for growth performance and dm partitioning to the sink by efficient use of the microclimate of the specific growing location. Four potato cultivars, namely ‘Frodo’, ‘Pentland Dell’, ‘Darius’, and ‘Shepody’, were used in the experiment. Four different harvests were undertaken during the growing season to determine dm partitioning to various parts of the plant. the results revealed that during the first harvest the percentage of leaf dm and tuber dm did not differ signifcantly among cultivars. The total DM accumulation for ‘Shepody was found to be signifcantly higher during the first harvest. During the second harvest, however, ‘Shepody’ and ‘Frodo’ had signifcantly lower DM partitioned to leaf and stem respectively, but ‘Shepody’ still had maximum total dm accumulation. Again, during the third harvest, ‘Shepody’ maintained its highest total dm accumulation and had the highest dm translocation towards tuber and the least towards leaf. ‘Shepody’ is an early maturing cultivar, and the high tuber dm during this harvest did not necessarily indicate a high final yield. This is substantiated by the fnal tuber harvest, where ‘Frodo’ produced a signifcantly higher fresh tuber yield and ‘Shepody’ yielded the least. Average leaf area index followed the same trend as the total dm accumulation, where ‘Shepody’ had signifcantly the highest and ‘Darius’ remained the lowest. From this, it can be concluded that ‘Frodo’ appeared to be the highest yielder, followed by ‘Pentland Dell’.