Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Title: Ethylene in Storage: The Phantom Menace Author
Submitted to: Proceedings Wisconsin Annual Potato Meetings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2009
Publication Date: February 3, 2009
Citation: Bethke, P.C. 2009. Ethylene in Storage: The Phantom Menace. Proceedings Wisconsin Annual Potato Meetings. 22:23-24. Technical Abstract: Ethylene is a small, gaseous, hydrocarbon that exists in the atmosphere at low concentrations. Plants, including potato tubers, produce ethylene as part of natural developmental processes and in response to some stresses, such as low temperature stress. Several lines of research have demonstrated that potato tubers respond to ethylene. For example, ethylene prevents sprouting when applied at appropriate concentrations. Ethylene increases tuber respiration rates for potato at concentration in the low ppm, and increased rates of respiration of Russet potatoes are accompanied by increases in tuber sucrose and glucose contents. Significantly, an interaction between ethylene and CO2 was also observed. The adverse effects of ethylene on fry color were greater when CO2 concentrations were higher. These data are reviewed, and current research that seeks to evaluate the effect of ethylene on tuber quality is described.