Dr. Addie Waxman

The Value of 1,4SIGHT®

{Sponsored} The growing season offers a plethora of potential problems for potato growers. Growers need to ensure their products make it to the marketplace in excellent condition. This means they must reduce shrink in storage, resist sprouting and remain resistant to fungal and bacterial pathogens.

Along with these concerns, growers also know their customers are starting to become aware of how some chemistries can have a negative impact on the environment, so being as green as possible is almost as important as bringing a quality product to market. Given increased global regulation, there has been a search for alternatives to CIPC. One such alternative sprout inhibitor is the naturally derived molecule 1,4-Dimethylnaphthalene (DMN), which is naturally found within potatoes.

1,4SIGHT®, a post-harvest product created by 1,4GROUP, Inc. has the potential to check all those boxes. The active ingredient 1,4-Dimethylnaphthalene is a registered “biocontrol” product by North American Regulatory Agencies. This product can be used along with any conventional or green chemistry currently on the market to keep potatoes fresh and sprout-free until they are ready for shipment.

To verify and extend the research and findings of 1,4GROUP, Inc. biology professor, Michael Campbell, Ph.D. of Penn State University, The Behrend College, is conducting genetic research on potato samples treated with 1,4SIGHT®. Campbell’s studies are focusing on how these changes in gene activity influence sprout inhibition, stress reduction and the fungistatic effects seen by growers.

1,4SIGHT® works on a genetic level. Research has shown the product regulates genes associated with water-holding proteins, potentially reducing weight loss. Genes associated with pathogen resistance are also regulated potentially increasing resistance to fungal disease. 1,4SIGHT®’s mode of action is fungistatic, the fungus is prevented from growing, allowing other non-pathogenic microbes and fungi to out-compete for nutrients. 1,4SIGHT® changes other genes to prevent the potatoes from sprouting. Unlike other chemistries such as CIPC, 1,4SIGHT® changes are temporary. If no further treatment is applied, normal activity is expected to begin within five to six weeks depending on variety and storage conditions.

While Campbell’s research isn’t complete, his initial findings include a “possible improved shelf life, predicated on gene expression changes. There are genes associated with decreased sprout growth and alteration of starch and sugar” that are being investigated by some secondary studies. He also noted that “we did see some genes associated with response to fungi and we treated fungal cultures and their growth slowed.”

With regards to retaining water while in storage, Dr. Campbell’s findings so far include some genes being altered when exposed to 1,4SIGHT® that are associated with a decrease in drought stress.

“This is the thing about science. The best way to look at good science is when you see it replicated in other avenues. I would like to see some growers come back with data on how they see 1,4SIGHT® respond to fungal pathogens and dehydration and shrink,” Dr. Campbell said. While he can’t yet speak to what the results are downstream, Dr. Campbell encourages growers to bring back data about what they see happening in their storage.

Addie Waxman, Ph.D., global director of research and development at 1,4GROUP, Inc., leads the research for 1,4SIGHT®, helping to discover potential secondary benefits of the sprout inhibitor. She has been with 1,4GROUP nine years testing storage crop protectants in small-scale, large-scale and commercially sized potato storage units.

“It’s a more-green approach to handling sprouting and fungal growth in storage,” Dr. Waxman said. “It works well with conventional chemistries, biologicals and organic treatments.”

Both Campbell and Waxman suggest growers reach out to their representative at 1,4GROUP, Inc. to ensure they use the correct applications for their growing and harvest conditions. 1,4GROUP, Inc. representatives will consider the length of the storage program (two to twelve months), the other chemistries being applied, the variety of potato and the growing season to advise growers on the best application schedule for growers’ specific needs.

Dr. Campbell’s articles are available upon request.

To learn more about how 1,4SIGHT® can improve your potato storage longevity visit www.14group.com or call 800-881-0823.

*1,4SIGHT® is a registered trademark of 1,4GROUP, Inc.

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