Use of harmful chemicals and expensive maintenance of cold-storage conditions for the control of potato sprouting are among the major problems in potato storage, say Indian researchers in the introduction to a recently published scientific paper on potato sprouting.
The research team reports that they tested 20 different essential oils (EOs) for its sprout-inhibiting as well as sprout-inducing effects on potato tubers in storage.
Overall it was found that treatments with lemon grass (LG) and clove (CL) oils induced sprouting, whereas palmarosa (PR) and ajwain (AZ) oils inhibited sprouting of potato tubers at normal-room-temperature (25 ± 2 °C) storage.
Selected-EOs treatments affected sprouting by modulation of accumulation of reducing sugars, ethylene, and expression of genes involved in tuber-sprouting such as ARF, ARP, AIP and ERF.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that AZ-treatments for 7 days could inhibit sprouting for 30-days, which was mediated via damage to the apical bud meristem of tubers. However, they note that LG- and CL-treated tubers could produce enhanced potato yields as well.
The researchers conclude by saying that their work clearly demonstrates that selected-EOs can be used as a promising eco-friendly approach for inducing and/or inhibiting sprouting of potato tubers during potato storage.