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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 858: III International Conference Postharvest Unlimited 2008

HORMONAL CONTROL OF SPROUTING OF SWEETPOTATOES IN STORAGE

Authors:   M.U.A. Cheema, D. Rees, A. Westby, M. Taylor
Keywords:   Ipomoea batatas, ethylene, gibberellins
Abstract:
An understanding of the control of sprouting of sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea batatas) is important, both for marketing of sweetpotatoes in the developed world and for the role of the crop for food security in the developing world. Long-term storage of sweetpotatoes requires inhibition of sprouting, while stimulation of sprouting is necessary for the production of planting material. Many studies have been conducted on the control of sprouting/dormancy of potatoes whereas sprouting in sweetpotatoes is less studied. Recently, exposure to ethylene has been introduced as a commercial method for controlling of sprouting in potatoes. Data presented here show that 20 ppm ethylene is effective in controlling sprouting in sweet potato over 4 weeks of storage at 25C. Gibberellins appear to have a key role in stimulating sprout growth in potato. Trials using gibberellins and gibberellin synthesis inhibitors suggest that gibberellins are likewise involved in the stimulation of sprouting in sweetpotatoes.
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