Potato Cultivars’ Specific Leaf Weight as an Index of Response to Phosphate Limitation

Wei Chieh Lee, Guodong Liu, Ashok Alva


Phosphorus (P) is one of the world’s most limiting plant essential nutrients. To increase the P use efficiency during cultivar improvement, we need an effective index to evaluate the P use efficiency of each cultivar/breeding line. We conducted a field experiment using seven of the most commonly grown potato cultivars in Florida to evaluate specific leaf weight (SLW) response to P stress and adequate P growing conditions. P deficient plants generally showed reduction in leaf area and an increase in SLW. A cultivar with a smaller difference in SLW between no P vs. P amended treatments can be considered more P efficient than a cultivar with a larger difference in SLW. Among the cultivars evaluated in this study, ‘Red LaSoda’ showed the largest difference in SLW and ‘Marcy’ showed the smallest difference with and without P amended treatments. Therefore, the former represents “P sensitive” while the latter a more “P efficient” potato cultivar. Specific leaf weight may be used in controlled conditions as an index for preliminary screening of potato P use efficiency by breeding lines and commercial cultivars.


Solanum tuberosum L., phosphorus use efficiency, leaf specific weight

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283