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enlarged tip of a rhizome (underground stem) that stores food. Although much modified in structure, the tuber contains all the usual stem parts—bark, wood, pith, nodes, and internodes. The eyes of a potato tuber are nodes where sprouts appear, and they are arranged in the same spiral pattern characteristic of buds on an aerial stem.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a modified shoot of a plant with a thickened stem consisting of one or several internodes (sometimes a thickened hypocotyl or part of the root). Tubers located above the ground are usually green and have leaves (such as kohlrabi and some tropical orchids). Underground tubers usually have the leaves reduced to very small scales that fall off early; the buds that form in their axils are called eyes. Tubers usually store nutrients, most often starch and other carbohydrates, and more rarely, oils (as in chufa).

Tubers develop from the parenchymatous cells of the phloem and xylem, and, less often, from the pith. They can appear on the main axis of the plant (usually at the base) as well as on lateral shoots (as in field horsetail and marsh woundwort) and on underground shoots, or runners (as in potatoes and Jerusalem artichoke). Tubers in the form of hypocotyls are found on cyclamen and certain Umbelliferae such as Chaerophyllum, tuberiferous caraway (Carum bulbosa), Corydalis, and Eranthis. Tubers usually serve for propagation. After the runners atrophy, the buds sprout and adventitious roots form, and the tuber develops into a new plant. In some plants aboveground tubers develop into inflorescences. In these cases, small tubers with thickened axes form in the axils of the bract. The buds of the tubers produce from two to four leaves, and, after falling off the plant, the buds take root, forming new plants (viviparous plants). In Ficaria the sprouting of the tubers that develop in the leaf axils and the formation of adventitious roots take place after the tubers fall off the plant, usually after wintering. Plants whose tubers are used as food for man, or feed for animals, or for industrial raw materials are called tuber crops.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The enlarged end of a rhizome in which food accumulates, as in the potato.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a fleshy underground stem (as in the potato) or root (as in the dahlia) that is an organ of vegetative reproduction and food storage
2. Anatomy a raised area; swelling
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Also, the disease can arise from infected mother tubers.
It takes 7 to 8 weeks to grow the slips using our method, and the tubers produce more slips if conditioned for two weeks (or even four) before you start to grow slips.
Tubers yield and its components: At harvesting stage the following characters were determined for each experimental block; weight of tubers (g/plant), number of tubers/plant, average weight of tuber (g/tuber), average weight of tubers (tons/ha), marketable tubers yield (good shapes and healthy tubers) and unmarketable tubers yield (off shape, blemished, green and diseased tubers).
signs of disease on the plant Earthing up may help protect tubers, along with practising crop rotation - don't grow potatoes on the same piece of land more than once every four years.
Try carlingford, which has oval white skin and waxy flesh with a new potato taste, and maris peer, with superb flavoured tubers that keep their colour and don't disintegrate on cooking.
For better comparison the energy values of tubers and jackfruit are estimated at 12% moisture in the third row.
When the plants start to flower it is a good indication that the tubers are ready to harvest.
Nitrogen fertilizer was applied at the rate of 75 kg N [ha.sup.-1] in the form of Urea in two splits, half rate after full emergence and half rate at the initiation of tubers.Other agronomic managements were applied as per the recommendation made for the crop.
Effect of growth behavior of potato mini tubers on quality of seed potatoes as influenced by different cultivars.
Nighttime temperatures below 17[degrees]C and daytime temperatures between 23 and 25[degrees]C are the most favorable for tuber production (HELDWEIN et al., 2009), whereas high temperatures stimulate the growth of the shoot, to detriment of tubers (BEUKEMA & VAN DER ZAAG, 1990).