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Laurie S. Weiss, John B. Bamberg, and Jiwan P. Palta

Solanum acaule (acl) and Solanum commersonii (cmm) represent the extremes of frost tolerance and cold acclimation ability among potato species. We have combined these species with cultivated S. tuberosum (tbr) to develop a potato with desired tuber traits and a high degree of frost tolerance. For this purpose diploid cmm was made 4x and crossed with naturally 4x acl. The F1 and F2 appear to exhibit hybrid vigor for vine growth for flowering, but none had frost tolerance greater than the parents. The F1 and F2 were crossed with S. tuberosum ssp. andigena and Katahdin via 2n eggs resulting in 6x 3-way hybrids. These hybrids were evaluated both in the field and laboratory for frost tolerance and acclimation ability. Results showed an increase of 1°C of frost tolerance and 2°C increase in cold acclimation capacity in the hybrids as compared to the sensitive tbr parents. Some of the 6x (3-way) hybrids produced significant tubers but yield and earliness needs much improvement. These results demonstrate that it should be possible to move both non acclimated freezing tolerance and cold acclimation ability from wild to cultivated species and offer exciting opportunities to enhance potato production in frost prone areas in the world.

Supported by USDA/NRI grant 91-3700-6636 to J.P.P. and J.B.B..

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Jim Mooney and Shelley H. Jansky

Resistance to the Colorado potato beetle (CPB) and green peach aphid (GPA) would be valuable if it could be effectively transferred from wild potato species to the cultivated potato. Eighteen diploid interspecific hybrids have been developed using Solanum tuberosum Gp. Tuberosum haploids (2n = 2x = 24) and the diploid wild species S. berthaultii (ber), S. chacoense (CHC), S. jamesii (jam), and S. tarijense (tar). Twenty-five genotypes per family were screened for resistance to CPB and GPA. Feeding trials were carried out on intact leaves. The degree of resistance to CPB was determined by the stage of instar development and weight of larvae after a four day feeding period; resistance to GPA was evaluated by aphid reproduction and survival after a fifteen day feeding period. Highly CPB or GPA resistant clones, compared to `Norgold Russet',, have been identified thus far. Some clones express high levels of resistance to both CPB and GPA. Crosses between resistant clones and S. tuberosum will be carried out at the diploid level in an attempt to combine resistance with good tuberization qualities.

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Jim Mooney and Shelley H. Jansky

Resistance to the Colorado potato beetle (CPB) and green peach aphid (GPA) would be valuable if it could be effectively transferred from wild potato species to the cultivated potato. Eighteen diploid interspecific hybrids have been developed using Solanum tuberosum Gp. Tuberosum haploids (2n = 2x = 24) and the diploid wild species S. berthaultii (ber), S. chacoense (CHC), S. jamesii (jam), and S. tarijense (tar). Twenty-five genotypes per family were screened for resistance to CPB and GPA. Feeding trials were carried out on intact leaves. The degree of resistance to CPB was determined by the stage of instar development and weight of larvae after a four day feeding period; resistance to GPA was evaluated by aphid reproduction and survival after a fifteen day feeding period. Highly CPB or GPA resistant clones, compared to `Norgold Russet',, have been identified thus far. Some clones express high levels of resistance to both CPB and GPA. Crosses between resistant clones and S. tuberosum will be carried out at the diploid level in an attempt to combine resistance with good tuberization qualities.

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Chieri Kubota and Toyoki Kozai

Growth and net photosynthetic rate of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) `Benimaru' plantlet in vitro were studied under a conventional photomixotrophic condition [with 20 g sucrose/liter in the medium and under 70 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)] with minimal ventilation (MV) and under photoautotrophic conditions (without sugar in the medium and under 190 μmol·m-2·s-l PPF) with enhanced natural ventilation using an air diffusive filter (DV) or with forced ventilation (FV). Fresh weight of the plantlets cultured in the FV and DV treatments was 2.4 times that of the plantlets cultured in the MV treatment. Net photosynthetic rate and dry weight per plantlet were the highest in FV followed by DV. For photoautotrophic micropropagation, FV was superior to DV.

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H.L. Bhardwaj, A.S. Bhagsari, and K.G. Haynes

Three experiments, each with 100 potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) genotypes, were conducted using triple lattice designs from 1988-1989. The use of lattice designs did not improve the efficiency of these experiments over randomized complete blocks. The phenotypic stability of tuber yields of 91 genotypes, common to three experiments, was measured by regression of genotype means over environmental means. Regression coefficients indicated that 60 days after planting (DAP), genotypes adapted to high yielding environments (b > 1), had significantly higher tubers/plant, leaf area index, and yield/plant, as compared to genotypes suited to low-yielding environments. At final harvest, approximately 100 DAP, genotypes specifically adapted to high yielding environments had significantly higher tubers/plant and yield/plant than genotypes adapted to low yielding environments (b < 1). Green Mountain, Kennebec, and Norchip were adapted to high-yielding environments whereas La Chipper, Ontario, and Superior were adapted to low-yielding environments.

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James A. Okeyo and Ronald D. Morse

Seed tubers of `Yukon Gold' (Solanum tuberosum L.) exhibit strong apical dominance, resulting in relatively poor stem emergence. Cutting seed tubers to overcome apical dominance in `Yukon Gold' results in irregular, uneven stem emergence. In 1992 and 1993, experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of dehaulming (excising stems to ground level after field emergence) whole, cross- and longitudinal-cut seed tubers of `Yukon Gold' on canopy growth and tuber yield. For all seed piece types, dehaulming during the first week of field emergence produced uniform plant stands and increased yields of U.S. no. 1 tubers by 16 and 42% and large tubers (> 6.4 cm dia.) by 340 and 64% in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Our data indicate that tuber bulking rate was increased by dehaulming. The possible causes and implications of increased tuber bulking rates in dehaulmed potato plants are discussed.

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E.B.G. Feibert, S.R. James, K.A. Rykbost, A.R. Mitchell, and C.C. Shock

Previously published research suggests that the yield and water-use efficiency of C-3 plants can be enhanced through foliar-applied methanol. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Russet Burbank) grown in Oregon at Klamath Falls, Madras, and Ontario were subjected to repeated foliar methanol treatments during the 1993 season. Methanol was applied at 20%, 40%, and 80% concentration with Triton X-100 sticker-spreader at 0.1%, and methanol was applied at 20% and 40% without Triton X-100. Methanol had no effect on tuber yield, size distribution, grade, or specific gravity at any location. Tuber stem-end fry color showed no methanol response at the two locations where it was measured. Soil water potential (measured at Madras and Ontario) showed no difference in water-use efficiency between methanol-treated and nontreated potato plants.

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Aref A. Abdul-Baki and Theophanes Solomos

The diffusion coefficient of CO2 in `Russet Burbank' potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers was determined under steady-state conditions at 10 and 27C. The data showed that the skin is the main barrier to gas diffusion, with an average diffusion coefficient of 6.57 × 10-7 and 7.61 × 10-7 cm·s-1 at 10 and 27C, respectively. The flesh also presents an appreciable barrier to gas diffusion. The average diffusion coefficient of CO2 in the flesh was 2.00 × 10-4 and 2.24 × 10-4 cm·s-1 at 10 and 27C, respectively. Under regular storage conditions, the tuber is well aerated and the concentration of O2 at the center of the tuber is sufficient to maintain aerobic respiration.

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George Hochmuth, Pete Weingartner, Chad Hutchinson, Austin Tilton, and Dwight Jesseman

Phosphorus (P) fertilization studies were conducted on four commercial farms and at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Hastings Research and Education Center in Hastings. All sites were in the potato (Solanum tuberosum) production area of northeastern Florida. Preplant Mehlich-1 soil test P was very low at one commercial site and very high at the other four sites. The yield of marketable size A tubers, the desired tuber category, did not respond to P fertilization from 0 to 66 lb/acre (74.0 kg·ha-1) of P at any site. The average yield across all sites was 324 cwt/acre [16.2 ton/acre (36.3 t·ha-1)]. Leaf-P concentration at midseason did not respond to P fertilization. Leaf-P concentration averaged 0.38%, which was sufficient for potato. Potato tuber specific gravity averaged 1.075 and responded slightly to P fertilization only at one site.

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Gary W. Stutte

NASA has investigated the use of recirculating nutrient film technique (NFT) systems to grow higher plants on long-duration space missions for many years and has demonstrated the feasibility of using recirculating systems on numerous crop species. A long duration (418-day) experiment was conducted at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to evaluate the feasibility of using recirculating hydroponics for the continuous production of Solanum tuberosum L. `Norland'. The productivity of four sequential batch plantings was compared to staggered harvest and plantings. The accumulation of bioactive organic compounds in the nutrient solution resulted in reduced plant height, induced early tuber formation, and increased harvest index of the crops in both production systems. The changes in crop development were managed by increasing planting density and reducing cycle time to sustain production efficiency.