Some Seed, Seedling, and Maternal Characters as Estimates of Commercial Performance in Sweet Potato Breeding1

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Charleston, SC 29407


Thirty random seedlings from each of 50 random parents of a sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) mass selected population were evaluated in the greenhouse and their subsequent field performances were recorded. Simulated selection sequences were also studied. A sequence with mass selection first on maternal hill weight, high seed set, and high seed weight followed by a 50% culling level within families on the basis of low greenhouse seedling vigor resulted in average progeny field yields 45% above that of no selection. The results showed seed weight to be a potentially useful selection criterion for root yield. Individual seedling root weight in the greenhouse was not a good predictor of field yield.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication May 19, 1975.

Research Geneticist and Research Plant Pathologist, respectively.