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Pei writes, "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago.Some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet.There are also four diploid species (with 24 chromosomes): S. A secondary center of genetic variability of the potato is Mexico, where important wild species that have been used extensively in modern breeding are found, such as the hexaploid Solanum demissum, as a source of resistance to the devastating late blight disease.Potatoes yield abundantly with little effort, and adapt readily to diverse climates as long as the climate is cool and moist enough for the plants to gather sufficient water from the soil to form the starchy tubers. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page.As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watch-list, if need be.

New varieties grown from seed can be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers cut to include at least one or two eyes, or cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers.

After flowering, potato plants produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing about 300 seeds.

Like all parts of the plant except the tubers, the fruit contain the toxic alkaloid solanine and are therefore unsuitable for consumption.

Apart from the 5,000 cultivated varieties, there are about 200 wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties. There is one pentaploid cultivated species (with 60 chromosomes): S. There are two major subspecies of Solanum tuberosum: andigena, or Andean; and tuberosum, or Chilean.

Cross-breeding has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species. There are two triploid species (with 36 chromosomes): S. The Andean potato is adapted to the short-day conditions prevalent in the mountainous equatorial and tropical regions where it originated; the Chilean potato, however, native to the Chiloé Archipelago, is adapted to the long-day conditions prevalent in the higher latitude region of southern Chile.

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