Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Citation: Bamberg, J.B., Fernandez, C.J., Martin, M.W., Pavek, J.J. 2009. Tuber Dormancy Lasting Eight Years in the Wild Potato Solanum Jamesii [abstract]. American Journal of Potato Research. 86:135. Technical Abstract: The physiology of tuber dormancy is of practical interest for commercial potato as it is related to efficient storage of the crop, and vigorous and uniform sprouting of planted seed tubers. It is also of interest for germplasm preservation at the genebank. Since research is often advanced by study of germplasm with extreme expression of the trait in question, we here report identification of germplasm exhibiting extreme duration of dormancy. We previously reported that tubers of this species remain firm in storage much longer than most others-- 1.5 years. Solanum jamesii tubers were collected as plants from 9 locations in the wild in New Mexico, USA in the fall of 1998 and grown in the greenhouse. In spring of 1999 approximately 2-3 liters of marble-sized tubers were harvested, bulked for each family, placed in a 40F tuber storage cooler, then periodically checked for condition and sprouting. By November of 2007 a majority of tubers were shriveled and apparently inviable, but there was no sprouting of firm tubers. Firm tubers were moved to room temperature for one month (without sprouting, then planted in the greenhouse in January 2008. By March, some viable shoots had emerged from each family, with an average of about 1/3 of tubers sprouting. Solanum jamesii occurs naturally in harsh environments which may be only intermittently conducive to tuber survival. It may have adapted the observed eight years of very deep dormancy and resistance to tuber desiccation as a survival mechanism. These stocks are available for distribution from the genebank for further study.