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Ongoing project

Investigation of skin hardening and splitting disorders in sweetpotatoes (PW18001)

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

What’s it all about?

Beginning in April 2019, this investment represents a collaboration between Australian and US researchers to better understand the causes behind splitting and skinning in sweetpotato crops, and how they can be reduced.

Splitting can occur during storage, but in cooler weather the main nematode-resistant sweetpotato cultivar grown in Australia is prone to splitting on-farm at harvest, with reported losses as high as 30 per cent. Meanwhile, other cultivars are susceptible to skinning damage during harvest and post-harvest operations, leading to sunken, darkened areas on the skin surface.

Initial research in the US has drawn a link between cultivar, crop nutrition and skin hardening, which this investment delving deeper into. Specifically, the researchers are looking at the effect of nutrients and whether their manipulation can influence skin hardening in different varieties, in turn influencing the rates of splitting and skinning in sweetpotato.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Sweetpotato Fund