Molecular and Bioprospection Division, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow, UP 226015, India; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR) (An Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament), AcSIR Campus, CSIR-HRDC, Sector-19, Kamla Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad, 201002, UP, India. Electronic address: [Email]
Use of harmful chemicals and expensive maintenance of cold-storage conditions for controlling sprouting are among the major problems in potato storage. Here, 20 essential oils (EOs) were tested for their sprouting-inhibiting and sprouting-inducing activities. Overall, treatments of lemon grass (LG) and clove (CL) oils could induce sprouting whereas palmarosa (PR) and ajwain (AZ) oils could inhibit sprouting of potato tubers at normal-room-temperature (25 ± 2 °C) storage. Selected-EOs treatments affected sprouting by modulation of accumulation of reducing sugars, ethylene, and expression of genes involved in tuber-sprouting such as ARF, ARP, AIP and ERF. Surprisingly, 7-days AZ-treatments could inhibit sprouting for 30-days which was mediated via damaging apical meristem. However, LG- and CL-treated tubers could produce enhanced potato yield as well. Present work clearly demonstrates that selected-EOs can be used as a promising eco-friendly approach for inducing/inhibiting sprouting of potato tubers during potato storage and those enhancing sprouting can be used for enhancing productivity.