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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2017, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (07): 1057-1066.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2017.01057


Effect of Potassium Application on Root Grow and Yield of Sweet Potato and Its Physiological Mechanism

WANG Shun-Yi,LI Huan,LIU Qing,SHI Yan-Xi*   

  1. College of Resources and Environmental Science, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China
  • Received:2016-12-20 Revised:2017-04-20 Online:2017-07-12 Published:2017-04-27
  • Contact: Shi Yanxi, E-mail: yanxiyy@163.com, Tel: 0532-82080820 E-mail:644393504@qq.com
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by the National Modern Agro-industry Technology System (CARS-11-B-14) and the Natural Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China (31301854).


The objective of this study was to investigate the physiological mechanism of potassium application on root growth and yield improvement in sweet potato. Two year field experiment was conducted with three potassium levels (0 kg ha–1, 75 kg ha–1, 150 kg ha–1, and 225 kg ha–1) to study the effects of potassium on root growth, 13C distribution, metabolic enzyme activity, photosynthetic characteristics and yield of sweet potato. Compared with CK, potassium treatments increased ETR 12.7% to 63.6%, Pn by 7.2% to 26.4%. Potassium application improved photosynthetic characteristics and accelerated the accumulation of photosynthate, providing material basis for root growth. While, potassium application was beneficial to the photosynthate products from shoots to roots, root 13C distribution amount increased by 10.6% to 66.2% (P<0.05). Then, potassium application by increasing sucrose synthase, sucrose phosphate synthase and adenosine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase activities to accelerate the assimilation of carbon in roots, to improve the photosyntheate accumulation in roots, and to promote root differentiation and growth in sweet potato. In early growing stage, potassium application increased total root length by 13.6% to 22.8%, the average diameter of root increased by 11.3% to 51.9%, and significantly increased the differentiation from adventitious roots to fibrous roots and tuberous roots (P<0.05), which is beneficial to the early formation of effective tuber, ensureing the effective number of tubers per plant. Potassium treatments increased the root biomass and average tuber weight. Compared with CK, the potassium treatments increased yield by 5.8%, 24.3%, and 44.7% in 2014, and by 7.9%, 13.4%, and 22.8% in 2015.

Key words: Sweetpotato, Root grow, Photosynthetic characteristics, Chlorophyll fluorescence, 13C distribution, C enzyme activities

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