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Differential Growth Response and Minituber Production of Three Potato Cultivars Under Aeroponics and Greenhouse Bed Culture

Tierno, Roberto, Carrasco, Ana, Ritter, Enrique, de Galarreta, Jose Ignacio Ruiz
American journal of potato research 2014 v.91 no.4 pp. 346-353
aeroponics, crop yield, cultivars, flowering, greenhouses, mosses and liverworts, peat, planting, potatoes, seed tubers
We have evaluated and compared different methods and cultivars for the production of quality prebasic seed in potato. Two cultivation systems, aeroponics and greenhouse beds with a peat moss substrate, and three potato cultivars with different vegetative cycle, Agria, Monalisa and Zorba, were assayed. Plants in the aeroponic system showed increased growth and their vegetative cycle extended between 12 and 36 % compared to the plants cultivated in greenhouse beds. Flowering and tuberization dates, Absolute Growth Rates (AGR) during the period of 60 days after planting (DAP) and height presented a wide variation between cultivars. Zorba showed earlier flowering and tuberization, lower AGR and reached a minor height at 60 DAP. Instead the late season cultivar Agria showed later flowering and tuberization, presented higher AGR and reached an increased height at 60 DAP. The total tuber yield per plant was between 34 and 87 % higher in the aeroponic system, with a marked difference for the earlier cultivars Zorba and Monalisa. Tuber numbers increased between 60 and 80 %. Minituber production in aeroponics showed a better size distribution, with a reduction in the percentage of tubers smaller than 12 mm of between 33 and 86 %. In this soil-less culture system average tuber weight increased in Zorba and Monalisa over 60 % but was lower for Agria. Further studies are needed to optimize aeroponics system, which can be considered a high yield potato multiplication system, particularly for early or mid season potato cultivars that may produce best quality minitubers.