Investigate the plant architecture ideotype of hybrid potato for improved tuber production

Hybrid potato provides potentials for fast breeding and more sustainable tuber production. The novel hybrids can grow from various starting materials, namely true botanical seed and seed tuber. The alternative crop production systems for different starting materials need to be developed. A better understanding of the development and growth for different planting materials can provide more insights in designing more efficient cropping systems. It involves the development of plant architecture, potato crop physiology and their interactions under varying environmental conditions.


Plant architecture plays an essential role in regulating plant growth and development. Stem branching is one of the most important characteristics determining plant architecture of potato plant, regarding the aboveground leafy stems and the belowground stolons and tubers. Branching is highly plastic and branching behaviour differs in different starting materials (or propagules). The variations in stem branching reflect the summation of branches and leaves regarding their development and growth, integrated with source-sink dynamics. The development of branches and leaves is key to better understand the underlying physiological processes and their influence on tuber production.

Project description

The major objective of this project is to investigate how plant architecture development dynamics in terms of branching influence tuber yield and tuber size distribution in different propagules of hybrid potato. By using an integrated experimentation and modelling approach, the ideotypes of plant architecture for different propagules will be designed. A combination of field and greenhouse experiment and a Functional Structural Model is being performed, in which the branching pattern, the photosynthetic capacity and related source-sink relations of the two hybrid propagules are the focus of this project.