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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #440502

Research Project: Utilizing Essential Oils to Control Tuber Sprout Growth and Refining Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Meristem Dormancy in Potato

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21430-009-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: Jul 31, 2022

Determine effects of exogenous treatments using a subset of promising natural compounds from preliminary experiments (~10 essential oils or essential oil fractions) on tuber dormancy and sprout growth, and determine the molecular mechanisms affected by these treatments.

Experiments will be conducted in a multi-institutional research setting, and the cooperator will carry out the following: 1) Obtain plant material. Two 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. Fully dormant intact tubers will be treated before bud activity (within 7-10 days of cold storage) with 10 selected products from preliminary experiments (essential oils or blends, or fractions) and kept at 8C. 3) Monitor dormancy progression in cold storage. A subset of treated tubers will be used for weekly sprout growth observations at 8C up to four months. 4) Provide tissue samples for molecular assays. A second subset of treated tubers will be used for tissue sample collection for molecular assays at five time points (0, 2, 4, 8, 12-week post-treatment). Samples will be flash frozen and delivered to the ARS Lab for transcriptome profiling. 5) Monitor dormancy status out of cold storage. A third subset of treated tubers will be taken out from cold (8C) to warm storage (21C) at each tissue sampling time points and monitored for 14 days to determine the dormancy status of tubers. 6) 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. 7) Determine effectiveness of the treatments. Sprout growth data will be analyzed using ANOVA of a Completely Randomized Design in SAS program to determine the effects of exogenous treatments on sprout growth. 8) Identify candidate product(s) 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 volume), and kept at 8C. Effectiveness of candidate products for large scale applications will be determined as described above.