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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #440491

Research Project: Utilizing Essential Oils to Control Tuber Sprout Growth – Evaluating Methods to Scale-up for Industrial Applications

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21430-009-007-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: Jul 31, 2023

Confirm effectiveness of candidate natural compounds (essential oils or essential oil fractions) on tuber dormancy and sprouting on a large-scale trial; evaluate methods for industrial application to control sprout growth in commercial storage settings.

Experiments will be conducted in a multi-institutional research setting, and the cooperator will carry out the following: 1) Obtain plant material. Field-grown potato cultivars with short dormancy traits will be obtained immediately after harvest, cured, and stored under standard cold storage conditions utilized by the industry. 2) Perform exogenous treatments to develop methods for scaling-up. Application methods and criteria in the use of the potential products for sprout suppression for the potato industry will be evaluated. Fully dormant intact tubers will be treated before bud activity (within 7-10 days of cold storage) with selected products (essential oils or blends, or fractions) using increased amount of potato material and larger containers (e.g., 10x, 20x, 40x of initial experiments), and kept at 8oC. 3) Monitor dormancy progression. A subset of treated tubers will be used for weekly sprout growth observations at 8oC up to four months. Another subset of treated tubers will be taken out from cold (8oC) to warm storage (21oC) at five time points post-treatment (0, 2, 4, 8, 12-week) and monitored for 14 days to determine the dormancy status of tubers. 4) Record sprout growth. Number of tubers breaking dormancy will be recorded (a tuber will be considered sprouted when any buds are greater than 3 mm in length) and sprout length will be measured. 5) Determine effectiveness of the treatments. Sprout growth data will be analyzed using ANOVA of a Completely Randomized Design in SAS program.