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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING POTATO MARKET QUALITY THROUGH POSTHARVEST PHYSIOLOGY

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: Skin-set and wound-healing/suberization

Author
item Lulai, Edward

Submitted to: Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2008
Publication Date: May 14, 2008
Citation: Lulai, E.C. 2008. Skin-Set and Wound-Healing/Suberization. Potato Research. 50:387-390. doi 10.1007/s11540-008-9067-4.

Interpretive Summary: The physiology and biochemistry of resistance and susceptibility to tuber skinning/excoriation wounds and wound-healing are of global importance because of the magnitude of the resulting food and financial losses. This work is intended to concisely describe skin-set and wound-healing including their importance to the industry and associated areas of potato science. Wound related losses, including bruising, are difficult to determine because of the large range of associated infections, bruise defects, water vapor loss and various quality issues. Collectively, minor to serious skinning and other wounding can affect up to 40% of harvested tubers, resulting in huge financial losses that increase with storage. Many microorganisms causing spoilage in stored potatoes gain entry through wounds that have not healed quickly. Skinning wounds are difficult to control during harvest unless the tuber periderm has matured so that the skin is set and resistant to injury. The physiology of tuber skin-set, i.e. resistance to skinning/excoriation injury, is only beginning to be studied. The structure of tuber periderm and maturational changes that result in resistance to tuber skinning injury are of pivotal importance in developing physiological approaches to enhance skin-set and reduce associated losses; the current status of this research area is concisely addressed. The processes involved in wound-induced suberization to heal skinned, cut, and so called bruised areas covers a broad range of research. The induction and regulation, composition, biosynthetic pathways and macromolecular assembly, and molecular structure of suberin are not fully known. Consequently, suberin is somewhat of an enigma that is often misunderstood and poorly described in conjunction with wound-healing. The current research status and associated knowledge gaps for wound-healing are concisely addressed.

Technical Abstract: The physiology and biochemistry of resistance and susceptibility to tuber skinning/excoriation wounds and wound-healing are of global importance because of the magnitude of the resulting food and financial losses. This work is intended to concisely describe skin-set and wound-healing including their importance to the industry and associated areas of potato science. Wound related losses, including bruising, are difficult to determine because of the large range of associated infections, bruise defects, water vapor loss and various quality issues. Minor to serious skinning and other wounding can affect up to 40% of harvested tubers, resulting in huge financial losses that increase with storage. Many diseases causing spoilage in stored potatoes gain entry through wounds that have not healed quickly. Skinning wounds are difficult to control during harvest unless the tuber periderm has matured so that the skin is set and resistant to excoriation. The physiology of tuber skin-set, i.e. resistance to skinning/excoriation injury, is only beginning to be studied. The structure of tuber periderm and maturational changes that result in resistance to tuber skinning injury are of pivotal importance in developing physiological approaches to enhance skin-set and reduce associated losses. The processes involved in wound-induced suberization to heal skinned, cut, and so called bruised areas covers a broad range of research. The induction and regulation, composition, biosynthetic pathways and macromolecular assembly, and molecular structure of suberin are not fully known. Consequently, suberin is somewhat of an enigma that is often misunderstood and poorly described in conjunction with wound-healing. The current research status and associated knowledge gaps for skin-set and wound-healing are concisely addressed.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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