This study aimed to assess the efficiency of Ca enrichment in tubers of three genotypes of Solanum tuberosum L., through foliar spraying with CaCl2 and Ca(NO3)2 solutions. In this context, soil heterogeneity of three potato-growing fields, as well as the implications of Ca accumulation among tissues and some quality parameters were assessed. Three potato varieties (Agria, Picasso and Rossi) were grown in three production fields and during the life cycle, four pulverizations with calcium chloride (3 and 6 kg ha−1) or calcium nitrate (0.5, 2 and 4 kg ha−1) were applied. For screening the potential phytotoxicity, using Agria as a test system, the potential synthesis of photoassimilates was determined, and it was found that after the 3rd Ca application, leaf gas exchanges were moderately (net photosynthesis), to strongly (stomatal conductance) affected, although without impact on Ca accumulation in tubers. At harvest, the average Ca biofortification index varied between 5–40%, 40–35% and 4.3–13% in Agria, Picasso and Rossi, respectively. Moreover, the equatorial region of the tubers in general showed that Ca accumulation prevailed in the epidermis and, in some cases, in inner areas of the potato tubers. Biofortified tubers with Ca also showed some significant changes in total soluble solids and colorimetric parameters. It is concluded that Ca enrichment of potato tubers through foliar spraying complemented the xylem mass flow of Ca from roots, through phloem redistribution. Both fertilizers showed similar efficiency, but Rossi revealed a lower index of Ca accumulation, eventually due to different metabolic characteristics. Although affected by Ca enrichment, potato tubers maintained a high quality for industrial processing.
- Calcium biofortification
- Physical and organoleptic characteristics
- Tissue localization of calcium Solanum tuberosum