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Influence of Growth Regulators on Plant Growth, Yield, and Skin Color of Specialty Potatoes

Abstract

2,4-D has been used since the 1950’s to enhance color in red-skinned potatoes, but there is little research on the potential use of other plant growth regulators to improve tuber skin color in the wide range of specialty potatoes now available on the market. Field trials conducted at Parma, ID in 2009 and 2010 evaluated the effect of foliar applications of 2,4-D, NAA, and LPE on plant height, foliar injury, tuber yield, size distribution, and skin color of six specialty potato cultivars. Skin color was rated visually and via HunterLab colorimeter at harvest, and again after storage (132 days in 2009 and 93 days in 2010) at 4 °C and 95 % R.H. 2,4-D caused slight foliar injury and reduced tuber size in all cultivars. It also increased visual skin color rating in the red-skinned cultivars ‘Red LaSoda’ and ‘TerraRosa’ at harvest and after storage, and influenced incidence of pink coloration around the eyes of ‘Yukon Gem’ tubers, but did not affect color of blue/purple-skinned cultivars. NAA and LPE did not consistently influence plant growth, yield, tuber size or visual skin color in any cultivar. Colorimetric evaluations mostly agreed with the visual ratings, and indicated that storage significantly altered skin color in all cultivars, regardless of growth regulator treatment.

Resumen

El 2,4-D se ha utilizado desde los 1950’s para aumentar el color en papas rojas, pero hay poca investigación en el uso potencial de otros reguladores del crecimiento de las plantas, para mejorar el color de la piel del tubérculo, en la gran amplitud de papas de especialidad ahora disponible en el mercado. Experimentos de campo conducidos en Parma, ID, en 2009 y 2010, evaluaron el efecto de aplicaciones foliares de 2,4-D, NAA, y LPE en altura de planta, daño foliar, rendimiento de tubérculo, distribución del tamaño y el color de la piel, de seis variedades de papa de especialidad. El color de la piel se clasificó visualmente y vía colorímetro HunterLab a la cosecha, y nuevamente después del almacenamiento (132 días en 2009 y 93 días en 2010) a 4 °C y 95 % H.R. El 2,4-D causó ligero daño foliar y redujo el tamaño de tubérculo en todas las variedades. También aumentó visualmente la calificación del color de la piel en las variedades rojas “Red LaSoda” y “TerraRosa” a la cosecha y después del almacenaje, e influenció la incidencia de coloración rosa alrededor de los ojos de tubérculos de “Yukon Gem”, pero no afectó el color de las variedades de piel azul/morada. NAA y LPE no influenciaron consistentemente el crecimiento de la planta, el rendimiento, el tamaño del tubérculo, o el color visual de la piel en ninguna variedad. Las evaluaciones colorimétricas coincidieron en su mayoría con las calificaciones visuales, e indicaron que el almacenamiento alteró significativamente el color de la piel en todas las variedades, independientemente del tratamiento con regulador de crecimiento.

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Acknowledgments

This research was performed as part of the thesis of Robin John. We thank William Buhrig, Christopher Rennaker, and Lynn Woodell for their help in collecting data for these studies, and the Idaho Potato Commission, the USDA Potato Research program, and USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) CRIS number 5358-21000-041-00D for financial support. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Correspondence to Michael K. Thornton.

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Thornton, M.K., Lee, J., John, R. et al. Influence of Growth Regulators on Plant Growth, Yield, and Skin Color of Specialty Potatoes. Am. J. Potato Res. 90, 271–283 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-013-9302-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-013-9302-7

Keywords

  • 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid
  • Naphthalene acetic acid
  • Lysophosphatidylethanolamine
  • Plant growth regulators