Physiological regulation of potato tuber dormancy

  • Jeffrey C. Suttle


At harvest, potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers are dormant and will not sprout. As the period of postharvest storage is extended, tuber dormancy is broken and sprout growth commences. The loss of tuber dormancy and onset of sprout growth is accompanied by numerous biochemical changes, many of which are detrimental to the nutritional and processing qualities of potatoes. Endogenous hormones have been proposed to play a significant role in tuber dormancy regulation. The involvement of all major classes of endogenous hormones in tuber dormancy is reviewed. Based on available evidence, it is concluded that both ABA and ethylene are required for dormancy induction, but only ABA is needed to maintain bud dormancy. An increase in cytokinin sensitivity and content appear to be the principal factors leading to the loss of dormancy. Changes in endogenous IAA and GA content appear to be more closely related to the regulation of subsequent sprout growth.

Additional Key Words

hormones postharvest Solanum tuberosum sprouting storage 



abscisic acid






indole-3-acetic acid


1-naphthalene acetic acid


Los tubérculos de papa (Solanum tuberosum L.), al momento de la cosecha se encuentran en estado latente y no tienen capacidad de germinación. A medida que transcurre el periodo de almacenamiento, se rompe la latencia y comienza el crecimiento del brote. La supresión de la latencia del tubérculo y el inicio del crecimiento del brote son acompañados por numerosos cambios bioquímicos, muchos de los cuales son perjudiciales para la calidad nutricional y el procesamiento de la papa. Se señala que las hormonas endégenas juegan un rol significativo en la regulación de la latencia. Se hace una revisión sobre la forma en que intervienen las principales clases de hormonas endógenas en la latencia del tubérculo. En base a la evidencia disponible se concluye que tanto el ABA como el etileno son requeridos para la inducción de la latencia, pero sólo el ABA es necesario para mantener la latencia de la yema. Un incremento en la sensibilidad a la citoquinina y su contenido, parecen ser los factores principales que conducen a la pérdida de la latencia. Los cambios en el contenido de IAA y AG parece que están mas estrechamente relacionados a la regulación del crecimiento ulterior del brote.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern Crop Science LaboratoryUSDA-ARSFargo

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