The tuber yield of potatoes is vulnerable to high temperature and is challenged by the asymmetric increase in day and night temperatures. This study aimed to evaluate photosynthesis, biomass growth, tuber mass distribution, and dry tuber yield in early harvested potatoes that were field-grown under high day and night temperature conditions during different growth stages. Potatoes were exposed to ambient (control), high night temperature (HNT; 19:00–7:00), high day temperature (HDT; 7:00–19:00), and high day/night temperature (HDNT; all day) for 14 days during tuber initiation (TI) or tuber bulking (TB) using portable, temperature-controlled plastic houses that were controlled to increase the temperature by 4.0°C. During TI, HNT delayed tuber development, thus altering tuber mass distribution by reducing the yield proportion of large tubers of >100 g (-53.7%) and lowering early harvest index (-16.1%), causing a significant yield loss (-17.2%) without interfering with photosynthesis. In contrast, HDT decreased early tuber yield (-18.1%) by reducing photosynthetic sources, which was probably attributed to decreased photosynthetic efficiency through a feedback inhibition. However, HDT altered neither tuber mass distribution nor early harvest index. HDNT during TI exhibited all the aforementioned effects of HNT and HDT (i.e., cumulative effects): reduced yield proportion of large tubers (-46.7%), decreased early harvest index (-23.7%), and reduced photosynthetic rate; thus, HDNT caused the highest yield loss (-30.3%). During TB, when the tubers were fully developed, the thermal effects decreased because most of the effects were either directly or indirectly linked to tuber development. These results provide comprehensive insight to the differential mechanisms of potato yield loss under high day and night temperatures and show that further field experiments should be conducted to cope with the threat of global warming on potato production.
Kim, Y. U., & Lee, B. W. (2019). Differential mechanisms of potato yield loss induced by high day and night temperatures during tuber initiation and bulking: Photosynthesis and tuber growth. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00300