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  • Author or Editor: John E. Bradshaw x
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There is concern that modern cultivars and/or agronomic practices have resulted in reduced concentrations of mineral elements essential to human nutrition in edible crops. Increased yields are often associated with reduced concentrations of mineral elements in produce, and a number of recent studies have indicated that, when grown under identical conditions, the concentrations of several mineral elements are lower in genotypes yielding more grain or shoot biomass than in older, lower-yielding genotypes. Potato is a significant crop, grown worldwide, yet few studies have investigated whether increasing yields, through agronomy or breeding, affects the concentrations of mineral elements in tubers. This article examines the hypothesis that increasing yields, either by the application of mineral fertilizers and/or by growing higher-yielding varieties, leads to decreased concentrations of mineral elements in tubers. It reports that the application of fertilizers influences tuber elemental composition in a complex manner, presumably as a consequence of soil chemistry and interactions between mineral elements within the plant, that considerable variation exists between potato genotypes in the concentrations of mineral elements in their tubers, and that, like in other crops, higher-yielding genotypes occasionally have lower concentrations of some mineral elements in their edible tissues than lower-yielding genotypes.

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