336 A Comparison of Virus-free Versus Infected Sweetpotato Transplants for Cutting Propagation

in HortScience
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  • 1 Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Department of Horticulture, 137 J. C. Miller Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Production of disease-free sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] transplants is of major importance to certified and foundation seed programs and producers. Sweetpotato roots are traditionally planted and cuttings are harvested from propagation beds. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of producing cuttings in nursery containers. Virus-tested and virus-infected `Beauregard' sweetpotato transplants were harvested from planting beds for the purpose of producing cuttings for transplants. Cuttings were established in 3.7-L plastic nursery containers filled with 100% pine bark amended with either low, medium, or high rates of Osmocote 14-14-14 and dolomitic lime. Resulting transplants produced a greater number of cuttings and greater plant biomass with higher fertilizer rates. Increasing fertilizer rates also had a positive effect on cutting production and biomass. Dry weight and stem growth were similar for both virus-infected and virus-tested transplants following first and second harvests. Producing foundation cuttings in nursery containers filled with a pine bark medium proved to be an efficient method of increasing virus-tested sweetpotato cuttings.

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