Studies were conducted to determine the effects of selected plant growth regulators on red color development of Red Norland potato periderm, and the mechanism by which color changes occurred. Two derivatives of the auxin 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D ester and 2,4-D amine), S-abscisic acid, n-propyl dihydrojasmonate, and the ethylene synthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine were foliar applied at 4, 6, and 8 weeks after emergence. Only the 2,4-D ester and 2,4-D amine significantly improved tuber periderm red color in two seasons of evaluation. Red color faded during storage regardless of treatment. Anthocyanin content at vine kill was significantly increased by 2,4-D treatment in 2004 but not 2005. The 2,4-D treatments increased the ratio of peonidin derivatives to pelargonidin derivatives compared with controls. This change in ratio may explain the observed change in hue angle with 2,4-D treatment compared to controls.
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Acknowledgements We thank Matthew McNearney for managing the fieldwork, Valent BioSciences Corporation for partial funding, Lois Fruen and the Breck School for supporting S. Engelman, and Joseph Sowokinos and Adrian Hegeman for reviewing earlier drafts of this paper.
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