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Potato science shows heat stress response with Quantis

Potato plant under heat stress

New research into biostimulant treatment in potatoes has been shown Quantis can effectively protect photosynthetic activity and energy yield when plants are subjected to stress. 

First results in a major study at the University of Nottingham have shown a significant reduction in measurable effects of plant stress on potatoes a week after application, when plants were under heat stress for six days.

Furthermore, Syngenta Head of Technical, Dave King, reported at the same time Quantis treated potato leaves were able to better utilise significantly more light, through greater photosynthetic activity – as measured by Quantum Yield in the trials (below).

Quantis Quantum yield research results from Nottingham University

“Analysis of initial results from the research show that Quantis quickly reduces plant stress to maintain photosynthesis and retain photosynthetic efficiency under heat stress,” commented Mr King.

Measures of transpiration, through water conductance, and carbon dioxide utilisation, revealed a rapid response from Quantis treatment, within 24 hours of application and 12 hours of 30⁰C heat stress starting.

“The work has confirmed how effectively potato crops can be primed ready for heat stress with the Quantis programme,” he advocated.  

Dr Rumiana Rae

Further studies of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) by the University of Nottingham team, led by plant pathology specialist, Dr Rumiana Ray (above), showed Quantis treated plants were still able to beneficially utilise more light seven days after application when the crop had been heat stressed for six days.

Quantis NPQ research results from Nottingham University

Lower levels of recorded NPQ in Quantis treated plants indicates the plant is having to work less hard in naturally reacting to and coping with the stress.

Dave King added that when potato crops are stressed by heat the plant will divert energy resources, in order to stay cool and protect cell structures from damage.  “Where potatoes are under the effects of oxidative stresses, caused by heat, they are unable to assimilate photosynthates, including sugars and carbohydrates, from leaves down into tubers.

“In fact, they may even be drawing on plant reserves to counter the stress factors, that would affect potential crop yield.”      

The major components of Quantis are sugars, organic acids, amino acids and some nutrients. These are designed to provide the plant with anti-oxidant properties to minimise the toxicity caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS – known as free radicals) in cells in plants under abiotic stress.

“By filling the organic carbon gap when a plant comes under heat stress, it can activate and enhance the plant’s natural capability to adapt to heat stress, to prevent damage and minimise its effects to protect tuber yield,” advised Mr King.

“This approach to stress relief in potato plants gives the potential for higher yield and better tuber size under heat conditions,” he added.

Find out more about using Quantis on potatoes this season: