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Impact of high temperatures on the marketable tuber yield and related traits of potato

Kim, Yean-Uk, Seo, Beom-Seok, Choi, Doug-Hwan, Ban, Ho-Young, Lee, Byun-Woo
European journal of agronomy 2017 v.89 pp. 46-52
breeding, crop yield, developmental stages, growing season, harvesting, photosynthesis, potatoes, spring, temperature, tubers, South Korea
A rapid warming of 2.8–5.3°C by the end of this century is expected in South Korea. Considering the current temperature during the spring potato growing season (emergence to harvest; ca. 18°C), which is near the upper limit of the optimum temperature for potato yield, the anticipated warming will adversely affect potato production in South Korea. The present study assessed the impact of high temperature on the marketable tuber yield and related traits of cv. Superior (which makes up 71% of the annual potato production in South Korea) in four temperature-controlled plastic houses and an outdoor field (37.27°N, 126.99°E) during 2015–2016. The target temperatures of the four plastic houses were set to ambient (AT), AT+1.5°C, AT+3.0°C, and AT+5.0°C. The marketable tuber yield was significantly reduced by 11% per 1°C increase over a temperature range of 19.1–27.7°C. The negative impact of high temperature was associated not only with the yield loss of total tubers, which was mostly explained by the slower tuber bulking rate, but also the reduced marketable tuber ratio under temperatures above 23°C, which was mainly attributed to the reduced number of marketable tubers (r=0.79***). Under moderate temperatures below 23°C, the source limited the number of marketable tubers without reducing the marketable tuber ratio. In contrast, the number of marketable tubers was limited by the marketable tuber set at the early growth stage rather than the source under the higher temperatures, which resulted in the reduction in the marketable tuber ratio below 56%. These results suggest that the objectives of breeding and agronomic management for adapting to the rapid warming in South Korea should include maintaining the ability to form tubers at the early growth stage under high temperatures, as well as the photosynthetic capacity and sink strength of the tubers.