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Appearance and growth of individual leaves in the canopies of several potato cultivars

  • D. M. Firman (a1), P. J. O'Brien (a1) and E. J. Allen (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2009

Leaf appearance of contrasting potato cultivars was examined in field experiments at Cambridge, UK, between 1985 and 1990. Three experiments examined the effects of N fertilizer on the appearance and growth of leaves. Four experiments examined leaf appearance over a wide range of planting dates and in two of these experiments different physiological ages of seed were compared.

Linear regression of rate of appearance of main-stem leaves on air temperature indicated a strong dependence of rate of leaf appearance on temperature in the cultivar Maris Piper with a phyllochron of c. 31 K d/leaf but in Estima variation in rate of leaf appearance was only partly explained by differences in air temperature. The phyllochron of main-stem leaves in Estima and Home Guard was shorter for old seed than young seed but there was little effect of seed age in four other cultivars. The phyllochron of main-stem leaves was longer without N fertilizer than with N but the difference in the phyllochron between rates of applied N was small. Leaf appearance on sympodial branches was slower and more variable than on the main-stem. Growth of branches differed between cultivars, particularly with no N fertilizer. In the determinate cultivars Estima and Diana there was restricted growth of branches but in the indeterminate cultivar Cara, significant leaf area was contributed by branches. The duration of leaf appearance and longevity of individual leaves is discussed in relation to N, temperature and cultivar.

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E. J. Allen (1978). Plant density. In The Potato Crop (Ed. P. M. Harris ), pp. 278326. London: Chapman and Hall.

E. J. Allen & R. K. Scott (1992). Principles of agronomy and their application in the potato industry. In The Potato Crop (Ed. P. M. Harris ), pp. 816881. London: Chapman and Hall.

A. L. Demagante & P. Van Ber Zaag (1988). The response of potato (Solatium spp.) to photoperiod and light intensity under high temperatures. Potato Research 31, 7383.

J. N. Gallagher (1979). Field studies of cereal leaf growth. I. Initiation and expansion in relation to temperature and ontogeny. Journal of Experimental Botany 30, 625636.

E. C. Humphries & S. A. W. French (1963). The effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and gibberellic acid on leaf area and cell division in Majestic potato. Annals of Applied Biology 52, 149162.

R. A. Jefferies (1989). Water-stress and leaf growth in fieldgrown crops of potato (Solarium tuberosum L.). Journal of Experimental Botany 40, 13751381.

W. W. Kirk & B. Marshall (1992). The influence of temperature on leaf development and growth in potatoes in controlled environments. Annals of Applied Biology 120, 511525.

E. R. Leonard (1962). Interrelations of vegetative and reproductive growth with special reference to indeterminate plants. Botanical Review 28, 353410.

G. F. J. Milford , T. O. Pocock & J. Riley (1985). An analysis of leaf growth in sugar beet. II. Leaf appearance in field crops. Annals of Applied Biology 106, 173185.

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