Effect of Harvest Duration on Yield and on Depletion of Storage Carbohydrates in Asparagus Roots1

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
D. R. SheltonDepartment of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

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M. L. LacyDepartment of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

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Abstract

Harvesting a young planting of asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) for 4 or 6 weeks the second year after transplanting 1-year-old crowns, followed by harvesting for 8 or 10 weeks the third year, reduced yields significantly the fourth year. Carbohydrate levels in asparagus storage roots decreased during harvest and continued to decrease after harvest during fern production. Carbohydrate levels increased in storage roots after stalks had matured, and were restored to preharvest levels by mid- to late summer. All treatments possessed comparable levels of storage carbohydrates by the end of the season. Asparagus storage carbohydrates were identified as fructose-oligosaccharides, which varied considerably in size, mobility, and percent fructose and glucose. The largest oligosaccharides were composed of ∼ 90% fructose, ∼ 10% glucose; molecular weights did not exceed 4,000.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication August 9, 1979. Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Article Number 9119.

The cost of publishing this paper was defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. Under postal regulations, this paper must therefore be hereby marked advertisement solely to indicate this fact.

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