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Potato minituber production using aeroponics: Effect of plant density and harvesting intervals


To optimize minituber production through aeroponics some horticultural management factors should be studied. Potato plantlets, cv Zorba, were grown aeroponically at two different plant densities (60 and 100 plants/m2). Plants showed an extended vegetative cycle of about 5 months after planting. A higher number of stolons was obtained at low plant densities. Tuber formation hastened when supplied N was reduced. Experiments on harvesting intervals (7, 10, and 14 days) indicated that for a density of 60 plants/m2, both number of minitubers and yield increased as harvesting interval decreased. Best results were achieved harvesting every 7 days: a total tuber yield of 118.6 g per plant was obtained (four times higher than for 100 plants/m2). Such a yield was composed, on the average, of 13.4 tubers with a mean tuber weight of 8.1 g. Harvesting intervals did not have an effect on the number of minitubers and yield for a density of 100 plants/m2. The best productivity obtained in this study was 800 minitubers/m2 for weekly harvests and a low plant density (60 plants/m2). We also studied the field performance of aeroponically produced minitubers vs those produced by hydroponics. Minituber behavior under field conditions was independent from the technique used for its production.


Para optimizar la producción de mini tubérculos de papa por aeroponía, se deberían estudiar algunos factores de manejo hortícola. Se cultivaron aeropónicamente plántulas de papa del cv Zorba en dos diferentes densidades (60 y 100 plantas por m2). Las plantas mostraron un período vegetativo extenso de cinco meses después de la siembra. Se obtuvo un gran número de estolones a baja densidad de plantas. La formación de tubérculos se aceleró cuando se redujo la aplicación de N. Los experimentos sobre intervalos de cosecha (7, 10 y 14 días) indicaron que a una densidad de 60 plantas por m2 se incrementó el número de tubérculos y el rendimiento aumentó a medida que se fue disminuyendo el intervalo de cosecha. Los mejores resultados se obtuvieron cosechando cada 7 días, al cabo de los cuales se obtuvo un rendimiento total de 118.6g por planta (cuatro veces mayor que con 100 plantas por m2). El rendimiento fue en promedio de 13.4 tubérculos con un peso medio de 8.1g. Los intervalos de cosecha no tuvieron efecto sobre el número de mini tubérculos y rendimiento a una densidad de 100 plantas por m2. La mayor productividad obtenida en este estudio fue de 800 mini tubérculos por m2 en cosechas semanales y a una baja densidad de plantas (60 plantas por m2). También hemos estudiado el comportamiento de campo de los mini tubérculos producidos aeropónicamente versus aquellos producidos por hidroponía. El comportamiento de los mini tubérculos producidos bajo condiciones de campo fue independiente de la técnica utilizada para su producción.

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Correspondence to Angel M. Mingo-Castel.

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Farran, I., Mingo-Castel, A.M. Potato minituber production using aeroponics: Effect of plant density and harvesting intervals. Am. J. Pot Res 83, 47–53 (2006).

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Additional key words

  • Solanum tuberosum
  • rhizotron
  • N supply
  • field behavior
  • hydroponics
  • tuber