Damage is inevitable during handling and marketing of sweetpotato and is exacerbated by practices such as over-packing sacks. Most plant tissues have mechanisms for healing wounds. This is exploited to improve storability of root crops after harvest by ‘curing’, where they are placed in an environment to promote healing of wounds incurred during harvesting and handling . Sweetpotato is similar in this respect to other root and tuber crops such as potato, cassava and yam.
Descriptions of wound healing in sweetpotato date from the 1920s when Weimer and Harter (1921) described how moisture and temperature affect wound periderm formation and the efficiency of the wound cork in preventing infection. Artschwager and Starett (1931) distinguished three stages of healing:
- desication of surface cell layers
- thickening of cell walls (suberization or liginification) in underlying cell layers
- formation of a new ‘wound’ periderm underneath the lignified cells.
Each of these processes is described in more detail in this document.
Authors: Q. van Oirschot, Debbie Rees, J. Aked, A. KIHURANI, C. LUCAS, D. MAINA, T. MCHARO, J. BOHAC, Q. van Oirschot, Debbie Rees, J. Aked, A. KIHURANI, C. LUCAS, D. MAINA, T. MCHARO, J. BOHAC
Publication Date: 2010