Are cuttings suitable for assessing maturity type in potato (Solanum tuberosum)?

P.C. Struik, M.H.P.W. Visker, J.P. Pauwels, L.T. Colon

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Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the potential of single-node cuttings of potato (Solanum tuberosum) as a tool to assess genotypic differences in maturity type. Plants were exposed to different photoperiodic treatments (different photoperiods, different numbers of photoperiodic cycles), and cuttings were taken at different plant ages. Cuttings from early (and to a lesser extent also late) maturing varieties exposed to short photoperiods showed strong induction to tuberise, irrespective of plant age; the induction increased with an increase in the number of short photoperiodic cycles. The response of cuttings taken from early-maturing varieties exposed to long photoperiods depended on plant age: cuttings showed stronger induction when mother plants were older; cuttings from late-maturing varieties hardly tuberised after exposure to long photoperiods. The tuberisation of the cuttings did not depend on the length of the long photoperiod (18 or 24 h) or on the number of cycles of a photoperiod of 18 h. Tuberisation on cuttings did not properly reflect the tuber formation on the mother plants, although within varieties, significant correlations between tuberisation on cuttings and tuber yield per plant 9 weeks after planting were found with different numbers of photoperiodic cycles of 12 h. Our experiments show that the cutting technique cannot be used on older plants to assess the maturity type of potato varieties, as there are interactions between photoperiod, genotype, plant age and number of photoperiodic cycles, in the reflection of the degree of induction to tuberise on single-node cuttings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • photoperiod
  • growth
  • shoot
  • l.


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