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The 16th-century English herbalist John Gerard referred to sweet potatoes as "common potatoes", and used the terms "bastard potatoes" and "Virginia potatoes" for the species we now call "potato".
The word has an unknown origin and was originally c. Spanish "espada", English "spade" and "spadroon". It subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools.
Aroundthe name transferred to the tuber itself, the first record of this usage being in New Zealand English. Pei writes, "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago.
The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud. They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins.
Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties. Like all parts of the plant except the tubers, the fruit contain the toxic alkaloid solanine and are therefore unsuitable for consumption.
All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called "true potato seed", "TPS" or "botanical seed" to distinguish it from seed tubers. New varieties grown from seed can be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers cut to include at least one or two eyes, or cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers.
Plants propagated from tubers are clones of the parent, whereas those propagated from seed produce a range of different varieties. Genetics There are about 5, potato varieties worldwide. They belong to eight or nine species, depending on the taxonomic school.
Apart from the 5, cultivated varieties, there are about wild species and subspecies, many of which can be cross-bred with cultivated varieties. Cross-breeding has been done repeatedly to transfer resistances to certain pests and diseases from the gene pool of wild species to the gene pool of cultivated potato species.
Genetically modified varieties have met public resistance in the United States and in the European Union. There are also four diploid species with 24 chromosomes: There are two triploid species with 36 chromosomes: There is one pentaploid cultivated species with 60 chromosomes: There are two major subspecies of Solanum tuberosum: Enriching and preserving the gene bank collection to make potatoes adaptive to diverse environmental conditions is seen as a pressing issue due to climate change.
A secondary center of genetic variability of the potato is Mexico, where important wild species that have been used extensively in modern breeding are found, such as the hexaploid Solanum demissum, as a source of resistance to the devastating late blight disease.
Potatoes do not keep very well in storage and are vulnerable to moulds that feed on the stored tubers and quickly turn them rotten, whereas crops such as grain can be stored for several years with a low risk of rot.
The yield of Calories per acre about 9. For culinary purposes, varieties are often differentiated by their waxiness: The distinction may also arise from variation in the comparative ratio of two different potato starch compounds: Amylose, a long-chain molecule, diffuses from the starch granule when cooked in water, and lends itself to dishes where the potato is mashed.
Varieties that contain a slightly higher amylopectin content, which is a highly branched molecule, help the potato retain its shape after being boiled in water.
Anthocyanins mainly responsible for red or blue pigmentation in potato cultivars do not have nutritional significance, but are used for visual variety and consumer appeal. Genetically engineered potato Genetic research has produced several genetically modified varieties.
The German chemical company BASF created the Amflora potato, which has been modified to contain antisense against the enzyme that drives synthesis of amylose, namely granule bound starch synthase.
Inthe European Commission cleared the way for 'Amflora' to be grown in the European Union for industrial purposes only—not for food. Nevertheless, under EU rules, individual countries have the right to decide whether they will allow this potato to be grown on their territory.
Commercial planting of 'Amflora' was expected in the Czech Republic and Germany in the spring ofand Sweden and the Netherlands in subsequent years.
Simplot Companywhich contains genetic modifications that prevent bruising and produce less acrylamide when fried than conventional potatoes; the modifications do not cause new proteins to be made, but rather prevent proteins from being made via RNA interference.
History of the potato The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia  between and BC. The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancon central Perudating to BC.
The staple was subsequently conveyed by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world. The potato was slow to be adopted by European farmers, but soon enough it became an important food staple and field crop that played a major role in the European 19th century population boom.
Ina plant disease known as late blight, caused by the fungus-like oomycete Phytophthora infestansspread rapidly through the poorer communities of western Ireland as well as parts of the Scottish Highlandsresulting in the crop failures that led to the Great Irish Famine.Suggestions for Writing Admission Essays Here are a few hints about how to write a strong admissions essay, and I would suggest you also view our Hints for Applying to College.
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