Using induced chlorophyll production to monitor the physiological state of stored potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.)

Jessica M.R. Garnett, Nikolaus Wellner, Andrew G. Mayes, Gerard Downey, E. Kate Kemsley

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A Visible/Near-infrared (Vis/NIR) spectrometer equipped with a fibre-optic probe was used to stimulate and measure chlorophyll production in potato tubers, at low levels that produce no visible greening in the skin. Subtle responses to changes in the light stimulus were also tracked. When used with a static experimental setup, these measurements are precise. However, the technique is very sensitive to the exact geometry of the tuber-probe arrangement, and careful positioning of the probe is crucial. Complementary studies established that tissue under the apical buds (‘eyes’) has greater capacity to produce chlorophyll than other locations on the tuber surface. A long-term study of multiple tubers suggested that different cultivars behave differently in terms of the rate of chlorophyll production. These behavioural differences may be related to the batch dormancy status; validating this potential relationship is the focus of ongoing work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
JournalPostharvest Biology and Technology
Early online date4 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Potato storage
  • Dormancy
  • Chlorophyll
  • Vis/NIR

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