Potato Research

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 239–268 | Cite as

Climate Change and Consequences for Potato Production: a Review of Tolerance to Emerging Abiotic Stress

  • Timothy S. George
  • Mark A. Taylor
  • Ian C. Dodd
  • Philip J. White


Potato is a major global crop that has an important role to play in food security, reducing poverty and improving human nutrition. Enhanced atmospheric CO2 concentrations provide an opportunity to increase potato yields in the future, but this will only be possible if the potato crop can cope with the other consequences of climate change caused by this rise in CO2. While climate change may impact biotic stress either positively or negatively, abiotic stresses are likely to be greatly increased and become a major threat to potato production. Increasing heat, drought and salinity stress will drive the need for greater understanding of genes, traits and management techniques that allow potato to cope with these stresses. In this review, we identify some of the key physiological and molecular adaptations of potato to these stresses and propose an ideotype which should include (1) optimal stomatal regulation to balance water loss and heat stress in leaves, (2) production of metabolites and transporters to scavenge reactive oxygen species and partition toxic elements, (3) enhanced root systems to maximise water capture, (4) maintenance of tuberisation under stress conditions and (5) stress avoidance by accelerating crop development and reducing time to yield. We discuss potential ways to achieve this ideotype, emphasising the need to benefit from genetic diversity in landrace and wild material by screening for traits in combined stress environments appropriate to future agroecosystems.


Drought Heat Maintaining photosynthesis Root/shoot signalling Roots Salinity 



This work was performed with the financial support of the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government and through the SolACE project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant no. 727247. We also acknowledge the contribution of the EAPR for funding the keynote lecture of TSG from which this review was commissioned. ICD thanks the European Union, and AHDB’s Potato Council for funding past and future research on this crop.


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Copyright information

© European Association for Potato Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy S. George
    • 1
  • Mark A. Taylor
    • 1
  • Ian C. Dodd
    • 2
  • Philip J. White
    • 1
  1. 1.The James Hutton InstituteDundeeUK
  2. 2.Lancaster Environment CentreLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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