Relative Humidity Influences Yield, Edible Biomass, and Linear Growth Rate of Sweetpotato

in HortScience
Authors:
D.G. MortleyGeorge Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

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C.K. BonsiGeorge Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

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P.A. LoretanGeorge Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

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W.A. HillGeorge Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

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C.E. MorrisGeorge Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088

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Growth chamber experiments were conducted to study the physiological and growth response of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] to either 50% or 85 % relative humidity (RH). Vine cuttings of T1-155 were grown using the nutrient film technique in a randomized complete-block design with two replications. Temperature regimes of 28/22C were maintained during the light/dark periods with irradiance at canopy level of 600 μmol·m-2·s-1 and a 14/10-hour photoperiod. High RH (85%) increased the number of storage roots per plant and significantly increased storage root fresh and dry weight, but produced lower foliage fresh and dry weight than plants grown at 50% RH. Edible biomass index and linear growth rate (in grams per square meter per day) were significantly higher for plants grown at 85 % than at 50% RH. Leaf photosynthesis and stomatal conductance were higher for plants at 85 % than at 50% RH. Thus, the principal effect of high RH on sweetpotato growth was the production of higher storage root yield, edible biomass, growth rate, and increased photosynthetic and stomatal activity.

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