GROWTH ANALYSIS OF FIVE SWEETPOTATO (IPOMOEA BATATAS L) CULTIVARS

in HortScience

TU-82-155 and `Georgia-Jet' early maturing. `Carver II'. TU-1892 and `Rojo-Blanco' late maturing sweepotato cultivars were evaluated in the field for: leaf area index (LAI), net assimilation rate, foliage crop growth rate (FCGR), storage roots crop growth rate (RCGR) and alpha a (the mean relative growth rate in dry wt to the mean relative growth rate in leaf area over a time interval) or the partitioning of assimilates. A split plot design was used and plants were sampled at 6, 8, 11 and 16 wk after transplanting. The results from study showed that LAI reached maximum development 8 and 12 wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. All cultivars irrespective to maturity groups showed a reduction in net assimilation rate 6 wk after transplanting while FCGR for early maturing cultivars gradually declined 6 wk after transplanting and varied among late maturing cultivars. `Carver II' showed increases in FCGR up to 11 wk after transplanting then rapidly declined while `Rojo-Blanco' and TU-1892 began to decline 8 and 6 wk after transplanting, respectively. RCGR showed rapid increases (100 g.m /area/week) and (150 g/m /area/week) for early and late maturing cultivars beginning 6 wk after transplanting and this increase continued until the 12th and 8 th wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. Cultivars from both maturity groups began to produce surplus assimilates (Alpha a) 6 wk after transplanting. which coincided with the rapid increases in RCGR at the same time. Thus indicating that storage root enlargement begins after the plant had accumulated a surplus of assimilates.

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