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Kathleen G. Haynes, Lincoln Zotarelli, Christian T. Christensen and Stephanie Walker

Consumer demand for specialty market potatoes has been growing. Cultivated South American diploid potatoes possess great variation for skin and flesh colors, shape, and taste. A long-day adapted population of Solanum tuberosum groups Phureja and Stenotomum (phu-stn) was evaluated for characteristics associated with the type known as papa criolla or papa amarilla in South America. Tubers have intense yellow flesh and may be fried or roasted and eaten whole. A U.S. northern location (Maine), representative of a seed growing region, and two southern locations (Florida and New Mexico), representative of potato growing regions near large Hispanic populations, evaluated yellow-fleshed clones selected within a phu-stn population. Agreement between selectors at two locations was greater than 50%. Tuber skin color and shape were highly correlated between locations; flesh color and tuber dormancy moderately so; eye depth had low correlation between locations; and appearance and skin texture had low or no correlation between locations. Tuber dormancy was generally short, but a few longer dormant clones were identified. There were significant differences among clones for yields, with the highest yields occurring in Maine. More intense evaluations are planned for a subset of these clones before possible release as new varieties. Future breeding efforts will be undertaken to lengthen tuber dormancy in this population.

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Fernanda Souza Krupek, Christian T. Christensen, Charles E. Barrett and Lincoln Zotarelli

The cost of seed accounts for nearly 10% of the estimated production cost of chipping potato (Solanum tuberosum) production in Florida. Optimizing seed piece spacing can reduce costs without affecting potato yield. This study evaluated the effects of seed piece spacing on yield, quality, and economic revenue of chipping potato production in north Florida. A field experiment was conduct during the spring of 2013, 2014, and 2016 in Hastings, FL, with a split-plot randomized complete block design. In-row seed piece spacings of 10, 15, 20 (industry standard), 25, and 30 cm were assigned as the main plot and S. tuberosum potato cultivars (Atlantic, Harley Blackwell, and Elkton) as the subplots. Marketable tuber yield ranged between 10.8 and 15.2 Mg·ha−1 in 2013, 10.1 and 12.8 Mg·ha−1 in 2014, and 9.9 and 19.7 Mg·ha−1 in 2016. Overall lower yields in 2013 were due to three freeze events early in the season. Widening seed piece spacing resulted in a linear decrease in total and marketable yield in 2013 and 2014. Conversely, seed piece spacings of 10 and 15 cm showed lower marketable yields in 2016. There was no interaction between in-row spacing and cultivar in any year tested. Cultivars performed variably across years for total and marketable yield and specific gravity. Tuber specific gravity was unaffected by seed piece spacing, except in 2013, when 25 and 30 cm resulted in slightly higher values. There was no significant difference in total and marketable yield between the industry standard seed piece spacing 20 and 25 cm in any year. In-row spacing of 25 cm in 2013 and 30 cm seed piece spacing in 2014 and 2016 provided the greatest economic return. Net revenue can be increased by adjusting the in-row seed piece spacing from the commercial standard of 20 to 25 cm, which reduces production cost without negatively impacting yields.

Open access

Christian T. Christensen, Lincoln Zotarelli, Kathleen G. Haynes and Charles Ethan Kelly

Solanum chacoense is a wild relative of potato (Solanum tuberosum) that is of interest because of its many desirable traits, but it exhibits variations in tuber dormancy across accessions. The objective of this study was to determine an appropriate gibberellic acid (GA3) concentration and soak time treatment to encourage sprout development across four accessions of S. chacoense (A, B, C, and D) from the 174 accessions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Potato Genebank. Twelve treatments were created by using four concentrations of GA3 (0, 50, 100, and 150 μg·mL−1) across three soak periods (5, 45, and 90 minutes). Small (average weight, 1.4 g), medium (2.6 g), and large (5.6 g) tubers were distributed among all treatments. Percentage of tubers sprouted, time to sprouting, sprout length, and sprout number per tuber were analyzed to determine the effectiveness of GA3 treatments on dormancy breaking. GA3 concentrations of 50, 100, and 150 μg·mL−1 partially broke dormancy within accessions B and C. None of the tested treatments were effective for breaking dormancy in accession D within 46 days after treatment. Accession A showed weaker dormancy, thus producing a similar percentage of sprouted tubers across all GA3 treatments. Soak time had no significant effect on all parameters measured. Larger tubers produced greater sprout number per tuber and percentages of sprouted tubers. Soaking tubers in 50 μg·mL−1 of GA3 may be an effective treatment for S. chacoense accessions with mild dormancy, but alternative methods to break dormancy may be required for S. chacoense accessions with stronger dormancy.