What is potato tuber

When potato producers talk about seed, they mean a tuber, a vegetative seed, not botanical. Potato tuber is a modified stem with a water content of 70-75% and the remaining 25-30% of dry matter. It has buds, from which the new growth begins.


  • What potato tuber
    • Determination tuber
    • As formed tuber
    • Pests and Diseases
      • blight
      • Sporangia
      • Common scab
      • Scab silver
      • Powdery scab
      • skin spot or scab lumpy
      • Pests
  • potato structure
    • What fruit forms potatoes
  • Biological features culture
  • The chemical composition and nutritional value of potatoes
  • The use of potatoes
  • History of culture in Europe and Russia

What is

potato tuber A tuber is a part of a plant that plays an role in year-round vegetation .As a storage of energy and nutrients, it serves to restore growth during the next growing season and as a means of asexual reproduction.

Germinated potatoes are used to grow new bushes

Strictly speaking, this is the tip of the underground stem, called the rhizome, which swells with nutrients.

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The plant uses stored energy to support new shoots, thereby ensuring the survival of the species. It helps the plant to gain a foothold in the soil, as the roots do.

Tuber differs from many bulbs and corms in that it does not have a shell - a protective coating that prevents excessive loss of moisture. He also does not have a basal plate from which the roots grow.

Definition of Tuber

Potatoes - stem tuber with parts of a normal stem( including nodes that are called buds or eyes) and an internode. By structure, each node has a leaf footprint, is able to germinate and grow into a new stem.

The plant is grown from whole and cut potatoes, and the number of stems obtained from the planted specimen, , depends on the number of eyes and its physiological age .

Not all cultivars can be grown from cut

specimens. The kidneys are arranged in a spiral, starting at the end opposite to the attachment point to the stolon. The terminal bud appears at the farthest point from stolon attachment, demonstrating apical dominance, like the normal stem.

Inside the tuber is filled with starch stored in an enlarged parenchyma, similar to cells. The inner part has a cell structure typical of any stem( core, vascular zones and cortex).

How an

tuber is formed The stem tuber is formed from the thickened rhizomes of ( underground stems) or stolons that develop from the lower leafy sinuses on the stem and germinate into the soil.

Stolon is lengthened over long days with high levels of auxins, which prevent the growth of stolon roots. Before a new potato formation begins, stolon must be of a certain age.

Leaves, as the plant grows, produce starch, which is transported to the ends of underground stems( stolons).They thicken, forming several tubers located closer to the soil surface.

Their swelling occurs when the plant begins to invest most of its resources in them. Tuber formation is completed when the soil temperature reaches 27 ° C. Potatoes are considered to be the crop of the cold season.

At the end of the growing season, the aboveground part of the plant dies to the level of the soil, and new tubers are separated from the stolons. The number of mature specimens depends on the soil( the presence of nutrients in it), the level of humidity. They may vary in size, shape.

Pests and diseases

Late blight

Remains a major problem for potatoes. The disease caused by the phytophthora mycelium, Phytophthora infestans, is rapidly spreading in foliage and potatoes. In temperate regions, soil or plant debris harbor the pathogen between seasons.

It survives in infected specimens that remain in the soil from last season's .Seed pieces can also be infected and contain the pathogen. When new shoots from infected seeds appear, the fungus infects and then spores on a new growth.



Microscopic, asexual disputes that the pathogen produces. Under favorable environmental conditions, spread through the air or water. They land on foliage and at low temperatures and sufficient moisture they form and release zoospores migrating over the surface of the wet leaf.

Each zoospore over time germinates in the indicated conditions and sends a germ tube to the leaf tissue. Penetrating into the epidermis in several areas, causes small brown spots. They quickly expand into large rot.

Scab common

Infection of potatoes by phytopathogenic Streptomyces scabies. Signs of infection appear on the surface with cork formations of brown color of irregular shape in diameter up to several millimeters.

The disease does not affect the yield, although it reduces its quality. Infected potatoes are edible, the quality and taste of the flesh is the same as in healthy specimens. The reason for the common scab is the lack of water when growing the plant.

Scab common

Silver scab

Caused by the pathogen Helminthosporium solani. Light brown spots appearing on the tuber alter the permeability of the skin, which leads to shrinkage and water loss. Ideal conditions for the spread of the disease - high temperature and high humidity.

Silver Scab

Powdery Scab

Caused by the Spongospora subterranea mushroom f.sp. Signs include minor damage to ( white growths) at an early stage of the disease , progressing to light pustules( like warts) on the surface of the tubers.

With maturation, they become prominent, crack, forming ulcers filled with a brown powdery mass.

Powdery scab

Oosporosis or scab tuberous

The causative agent is an ascomyceteum fungus, Polyscytalum pustulans, which affects the eyes on seed tubers.



Insects transmitting potato diseases and damaging the plant :

  • Colorado potato beetle;
  • potato moth( fluorimea);
  • big aphid;
  • nematode.
A big problem for potatoes - slugs. In the process of growth, they burrow into the tubers, making tunnels, while the surrounding flesh acquires a brown color and the planted potatoes are almost completely inedible.

Potatoes structure

Potatoes are an herbaceous perennial plant, depending on the variety, growing to 100 centimeters. The leaves die off after flowering, fruiting and tuber formation. The flowers are white, pink or purple with yellow stamens( the skin of the tubers depends on the color of the flower).

The culture of is mainly cross-pollinated by insects , but also self-pollinated. The signal for the formation of tubers, as a rule, is a decrease in the length of daylight, but in commercial varieties this trend is minimized.

Potatoes include:

  • terrestrial part of the plant ( or tops): a branching shrub consisting of several stems( from 4 to 8);
  • leaves dark green, intermittently - unpaired - pinnacle - cut spirally on the stem. Each leaf is represented by the midrib( axle), pairs of lateral opposite lobes, between which there are lobules and in turn between them - dochki( the number depends on the age of the leaf), an unpaired lobe is placed on the top of the leaf;
  • flowers are bisexual and have the main parts: calyx, nimbus, male element( stamina) and female element;
  • stolons , forming adventive roots in the nodes, and new plants from buds.

What kind of fruit does a potato do?

When flowering, the plant produces small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes. Plants that breed from tubers are clones of parents.

From seed, new varieties are grown, which are then propagated vegetatively. Fertile fruits contain more than 200 potato seeds in tetraploid varieties.

Root crops, rhizomes, tubers, root tubers belong to the root system , they should not be confused with fruits. In botany, true roots( roots and root tubers) are distinguished from non-root( tubers, rhizomes).

Root organ of the plant, increased to store energy in the form of carbohydrates;

is associated with the root system( as indicated by the first part of the name),

is not the fruit( the second part of the name is not correct from a biological point of view)

Rhizome is a modified underground stem of a plant with adventitious roots, rudimentary leaves and grooves, and common roots of the plant with root roots, rudimentary leaves and grooves.modified to store energy( carbohydrates) or water
Root tuber thickening of the roots( main or accessory) as a result of the deposition of nutrients for stockand
The structure of the potato

Stolon is similar to the rhizome, but, in contrast, is the main stem of the plant. The shoots from the stolon develop from the existing stem, have long internodes, and in the end form new shoots.

Biological features of the culture

From planting to maturity, the period ranges from 80 to 150 days, depending on the variety. The life cycle of potatoes is characterized by initiation and growth, followed by a period of rest, finally, germination, leading to the next vegetative generation.

The onset of germination after a period of rest is accompanied by an increase in cellular metabolism. Seedlings appear from the kidneys( eyes).

The is followed by the all plant parts .Photosynthesis occurs. The first and second stages last from 30 to 70 days depending on the planting date, soil temperature and other environmental factors, the physiological age of the tubers and the characteristics of specific varieties.

Tuber formation occurs approximately 30 to 60 days after planting of seed tubers, from lateral sub-soil buds developing at the base of the main stem, which, when underground, develop into stolons due to diagravitropic growth.

When conditions are favorable for the initiation of tubers, the elongation of the stolon ceases, and the cells located in the core and the cortex of the apical region of the stolon expand first and then divide lengthwise.

The combination of these processes leads to swelling of the subapical part of the stolon. This phase is associated with flowering( but not always).

In the process of expansion , tubers accumulate carbohydrates ( mainly starch) and proteins. Reducing overall metabolic activity, they behave like ordinary storage vessels.

Tubers are harvested from 90 to 160 days after planting, depending on the varieties, production area and marketing conditions. Starch usually makes up 20% of the fresh weight of a ripe tuber.

After the potato vines die , the skin of the tuber thickens and hardens( the sugars turn into starch), which provides greater protection for the tubers during harvest, including by blocking the entry of pathogenic microorganisms into them.

Although the resting period is determined by the absence of visible growth, dormant meristems remain metabolically active, only the speed of many cellular processes is inhibited.

Green peel indicates the production of solanine, which is harmful to humans.
Tuber, exposed to light, begins to produce chlorophyll and ilamin. Green peel or pulp indicates an increase in the level of solamina. Mulching helps prevent the irradiation of developing tubers. For the same reason, tubers should be stored in a dark place after harvest.

The chemical composition and nutritional value of potatoes

Tuber contains on average about 78% of the water, so only the remaining 20% ​​have the direct nutritional value of .Carbohydrates( 18.4%) are the most abundant nutrients of potatoes, represented by starch and some soluble carbohydrates of dextrose, sugar.

In young tubers, a large proportion of sugars and less starch. But the longer it is in the soil, the more the starch content increases. As the germination of the starch turns into soluble glucose.

Sometimes you can hear that the potatoes are indigestible due to the high content of cellulose. In fact, such criticism has no basis. Cellulose content is less than 0.5%, as in many grains and vegetables.

The smaller the tuber, the more

sugar in it. Fat or Essential Extract appears in small amounts of , it can be almost ignored when discussing nutritional value, especially since most of it is found in inedible peel as a wax-like body.

Potato proteins are divided into three groups: patatin, protease inhibitors and high-molecular proteins. Patatin glycoprotein accounts for about 20% of the total amount of soluble protein in potatoes. Patatin exhibits enzymatic activity, plays a role in protection against pests and pathogens.

Non-protein forms of nitrogenous substances in potatoes are asparagine and a small amount of amino acids. It is possible that they promote digestion or serve a similar purpose.

Potassium compounds and phosphoric acid are the most important minerals found in potatoes. There are several organic acids( citric, tartaric and succinic), which differ in tubers of different ages and in to a certain extent take into account the taste of potatoes.

Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber. Contains many phytonutrients with antioxidant activity. Among these important health promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids and caffeic acid.

In some ways, potatoes can replace the vitamin complex, as it contains many useful substances.
About the benefits of culture: British scientists from the Food Research Institute have identified blood pressure lowering compounds in potatoes, called cooks.

Application of

potatoes In the modern world, potatoes are not only used for food, including the production of alcoholic beverages.

Among the hundreds of other methods, the use of potatoes:

  • starch in the food industry is used for the production of thickeners, in the textile industry - adhesives and for the manufacture of paper and boards;
  • is being researched to produce polylactic acid for use in the manufacture of plastic products;starch serves as a base for biodegradable packaging;
  • potato peel mixed with honey - folk remedy for burns in India. In the burn centers, countries are experimenting with a thin outer layer of tubers to treat burns;
  • is researched by scientists due to its clonal nature, consistent tissue parenchyma, low metabolic activity.
Starch derived from culture has several uses in various fields.

The history of culture in Europe and Russia

Spanish conquistadors first encountered potatoes when they arrived in Peru in 1532 in search of gold. After the arrival of potatoes in Spain in 1570, several Spanish farmers began to grow them on a small scale, mainly as food for livestock.

From Spain, potatoes spread to Italy and other European countries at the end of the 1500s, although did not initially receive a warm reception from the people .

In northern Europe, potatoes were grown in botanical gardens as an exotic novelty. The introduction of potatoes in Russia is traditionally associated with the name of Peter the Great.

According to another version, Catherine the Great ordered the citizens to start cultivating the tubers, but the majority of the people, supported by the Orthodox Church, who claimed that the potato was not mentioned in the Bible, ignored this indication.

Until 1850, did not grow potatoes extensively in Russia until Nicholas I began to implement the order of the Empress. Catherine II,

, thanks to which potatoes spread throughout Russia

Potatoes are an important plant model. It has several biological features that make it an attractive model to study. Like many other important crops, potatoes are polyploid. The effect of polyploidy on crop production has yet to be determined, but its prevalence in crops provides certain advantages.

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