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R412 Understanding the Role of Ethylene

Publication Date: 
24 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Leon Terry

Contractor :
Cranfield University, SBCSR

Full Research Project Title: Understanding the fundamental role of ethylene in potato storage
Duration: August 2008 - July 2011

Aim: To provide a greater understanding of the variation in biochemical and physiological changes occurring in different potato varieties after exposure to ethylene.

An AHDB Potatoes funded review on the use of ethylene for sprout suppression, published in 2007, highlighted that there is little published work available on ethylene-induced effects on stored potatoes and that the mechanisms by which ethylene treatments can effectively suppress sprouting are not well understood. Areas that were specifically identified as requiring further study were the effects of ethylene on texture and flavour and the possible interaction of these effects with store carbon dioxide levels; and the interaction between ethylene concentration, storage temperature and potato variety and the implications of these interactions for the effectiveness of sprout suppression.

The project was carried out as a PhD studentship at Cranfield University and involved trials at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research. It has resulted in the following publications:

Foukaraki, S. G., G. A. Chope, and L. A. Terry. 1-MCP application before continuous ethylene storage suppresses sugar accumulation in the UK-grown potato cultivar Marfona Acta horticulturae (2012).

Foukaraki, S. G., et al. "Effect of the transition between ethylene and air storage on post-harvest quality in six UK-grown potato cultivars." Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology 89(6) (2014): 599-606.

Ordaz-Ortiz, José Juan, Sofia Foukaraki, and Leon Alexander Terry. "Assessing temporal flux of plant hormones in stored processing potatoes using high definition accurate mass spectrometry." Horticulture Research 2 (2015).

The PhD thesis is available from Cranfield University:

Foukaraki, Sofia. "Storage of potatoes: effects of ethylene and 1-MCP on potato tuber quality and biochemistry." (2012).

The final report of the trials completed at SBCSR is provided below.

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