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Solanum tuberosum

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds may have physiological dormancy, which can be overcome by mimicking the seasonal patterns of the species' native habitat.

Send us an image of this species

Email your image to difficultseeds@kew.org

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds. To avoid a decline in viability, remove seeds from ripe fruits soon after harvest and allow to dry slowly, under ambient conditions, before transferring to a cool dry room. Dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

Germination Requirements

Germinate on germination paper (top of paper) at a constant temperature of 20ºC or under an alternating temperature regime of 30/20ºC (with an 8/16hr photoperiod). It may be necessary to add gibberellic acid to the germination medium to encourage growth.

The seeds of this species are expected to be Physiologically Dormant (based on other species in the same genus). If germination is low, this type of seed dormancy can be overcome by mimicking the seasonal patterns of the species' native habitat. Use a moist pre-chill or pre-heat treatment (depending on local climatic conditions) or a dry after-ripening treatment, before germinating the seeds on agar, germination paper or sand at their optimum temperature. If this does not work, you can perform delicate surgery to enable the embryo to grow. Excise the tissue near the root tip.

Seed Morphology

The fruit is a small, inedible berry.

See an image of this species at the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.

Taxonomy

Family: SOLANACEAE

Accepted name: Solanum tuberosum L.

Synonyms: Solanum andigenum Juz. & Bukasov, Solanum andigenum subsp. aya-papa Bukasov & Lechn., Solanum andigenum subsp. ecuatorianum Lechn., Solanum kesselbrenneri Juz. & Bukasov, Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigena (Juz. & Bukasov) Hawkes, Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum

Common name: white potato

References and Links

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • International Seed Testing Association (2010). International Rules for Seed Testing: edition 2010. ISTA, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.
  • Purseglove, J.W. (1968). Tropical Crops: dicotyledons. Longman Group Ltd., UK.
  • Rao, N.K., Hanson, J., Dulloo, M.E., Ghosh, K., Nowell, D. and Larinde, M. (2006). Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy.
  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Solanum tuberosum.
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Solanum tuberosum.
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Solanum tuberosum.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Solanum tuberosum.