Hydrogen peroxide increases potato tuber and stem starch content, stem diameter, and stem lignin content

H. López-Delgado, H. A. Zavaleta-Mancera, M. E. Mora-Herrera, M. Vázquez-Rivera , F. X. Flores-Gutiérrez, Ian M. Scott

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23 Citations (SciVal)


Field-grown potato plants were sprayed twice weekly, from 21 to 90 days after planting, with 5 or 50 mM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solutions. Relative to water-sprayed controls, the H2O2 treatments significantly enhanced tuber starch accumulation by between 6.7% and 30%, as determined by specific gravity or the anthrone spectrophotometric method. Pronounced effects of similar H2O2 treatments on aerial stem anatomy and starch content were also found in glasshouse experiments. H2O2 treated stems were up to 27% thicker than controls, mainly due to enlarged medullar parenchyma cells. Histochemical observations indicated that there were more starch grains in cortex and pith tissue of H2O2-treated stems. H2O2 also increased the number and size of xylem tracheary elements in the vascular bundles and the number of interfascicular fibers. Quantification using image analysis confirmed that stems of H2O2 treated plants contained up to 3.4-fold more starch and 62% more lignin. This new chemical treatment to promote starch accumulation has potential utility in potato crop production and research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Potato Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2005


  • starch content
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • lignin
  • specific gravity


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