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A.A. Trotman, W.A. Hill, D.G. Mortley, P.P. David, and P.A. Loretan

The effect of inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense strain Cd on mineral concentration in sweetpotato, [Ipomeo batatas (L) Lam cv. TI-155] tissue and ionic composition of plant nutrient solution was investigated in a greenhouse study. In the field, inoculation of sweetpotato with Azospirillum spp. has been reported to enhance. sweetpotato yield. In this study, 48-h old broth cultures were used as inoculum at a population density of approx. 1 × 108 cfu/ml. The inoculum (0.20 L) was added to the reservoirs containing 30.4 L of a modified half Hoagland's plant nutrient solution at 28 days after the start of the experiment Results indicate that percent total nitrogen in sweetpotato foliage tended to be higher for the inoculated fibrous mat than in the fibrous mat for non-inoculated plants. The percent total nitrogen in storage roots for the non-inoculated treatment tended to be higher than in storage roots for inoculated plants. Inoculation resulted in a slight increase in foliar phosphorus concentration but had no effect on phosphorus concentration in sweetpotato storage and fibrous root samples. Inoculation tended to reduce foliar calcium concentration. Magnesium concentration in leaf tissue was not influenced by inoculation. Foliar potassium concentration tended to increase slightly. The effect of inoculation on potassium concentration in sweetpotato root tissue was not well-defined; potassium concentration tended to be higher in fibrous root tissue for the inoculated treatment. But in storage root tissue, potassium concentration was higher for the non-inoculated treatment than for the inoculated treatment. Inoculation did not affect foliar concentrations of any of the micronutrients measured. This study indicates no effect of inoculation on ionic strength of nutrients in solution reservoirs.

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William B. Thompson, Jonathan R. Schultheis, Sushila Chaudhari, David W. Monks, Katherine M. Jennings, and Garry L. Grabow

Consumer Services, Raleigh. Once plants had been established, plant stands were recorded at 2–3 weeks after planting. Sweetpotato storage roots were harvested on 11–12 Oct. (114 DAP) and 18 Oct. (123 DAP) in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Storage roots from

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Scott Aker and William Healy

Alstroemeria `Regina' and A. `Orchid' Linn. plants were grown in rhizotrons to facilitate non-destructive observation of shoot, rhizome, and storage root growth. In plants grown at 21/11 C or 21/21 C day/night temperatures under either 8 hr night interruption or an 8 hour short days, storage root growth was favored by cool (11 C) night temperatures and long days. The seasonal patterns of storage root and rhizome growth were inversely related to the seasonal pattern of shoot growth. Growth of shoots and rhizomes followed a cyclic pattern. The cycles of shoot and rhizome growth were in phase with each other until the plants resumed vegetative growth due to high soil temperature. At this point, the cycles of shoot and rhizome growth were shifted out of phase with each other. Thinning shoots by 60% resulted in delay and damping out of the peak of storage root growth; the cyclic growth of storage roots was disrupted when plants were thinned by 60% such that the cycles of active storage root growth were delayed by 1 week.

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Melvin R. Hall

`Red Jewel' sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.)] roots were cured [32 ± 1C, 85% ± 5% relative humidity (RH)] for 7 days immediately after harvest and cured for O. or 8 additional days before being stored (16 ± 1C, 85% ± 5% RH). Midway through storage, roots were heated (32 ± 1C, 85% ± 5% RH) for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 days and placed back into storage. Before being bedded, roots were presprouted (32 ± 1C, 85% ± 5% RH) for O or 8 days. Plant emergence was accelerated with extended curing or presprouting and with increased midstorage heating duration. Early plant production increased with increasing duration of midstorage heating of roots not subjected to extended curing or presprouting. Eight days of extended curing eliminated response to midstorage heating; but, with 8 days of presprouting, a quadratic response to midstorage heating peaked at ≈ 8 days. However, when combined with midstorage heating, presprouting had more of an effect than extended curing on early plant production. Briefly extending curing, midstorage heating, and presprouting each independently increased the cumulative number of midseason plants, but only presprouting influenced total plant production. Treatments did not influence deterioration of bedded roots or number of sprouts <20 cm produced during 10 weeks of harvest.

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Jonathan R. Schultheis and Dennis E. Adams

Boron has been used to overcome the disorder blister in varieties such as `Jewel'. `Hernandez' is an attractive, good-yielding variety with uniform shape that will consistently pack out at 80% to 90%. Over time in storage, however, roots develop blister-like symptoms, rendering roots unmarketable for fresh market. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of different B rates and application times on the yield and quality of `Hernandez' roots. Rates were varied up to 2.24 kg actual B/ha 6 days after planting, while various soil and foliar application times (6, 34, and 69 days after planting) were evaluated at 1.12 kg·ha–1. In 1994, three row plots were arranged in a randomized complete block design and replicated four times. Planting was on a deep sand to maximize the effect of the B carrier Solubor. Roots were harvested, graded, and weighed 120 days after planting and storage roots evaluated for blister-like symptoms in Mar. 1995. No significant differences in yield were attributed to B rate or application method. Blister-like symptoms were more severe when no B was applied; however, application of B did not eliminate symptoms, as most roots had the blister-like appearance. Boron application did not solve the problem, but symptoms were less apparent when some B was applied.

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A.Q. Villordon, J.W. Franklin, and W. McLemore

This report summarizes the results of irrigation studies conducted from 2000 to 2005 at the Sweet Potato Research Station, Chase, La. These studies investigated the role of various scheduling methods, soil moisture measurement devices, and irrigation delivery methods in sweetpotato production. The studies indicate that 15 to 20 inches of total rainfall and supplemental irrigation is required to produce 400 to 525 bu/acre of US#1 storage roots in Beauregard. Supplemental irrigation can be scheduled based on this benchmark, potentially reducing over-irrigation during dry periods. We have also found that during dry periods, irrigating every furrow can bring about 50% difference in US#1 yield vs. supplying irrigation to alternate furrows. During growing seasons characterized by optimum rainfall patterns, we did not detect any response in US#1 yield to various irrigation treatments. We evaluated several moisture measurement devices including granular matrix sensors, evaporation pan, time domain reflectometry (TDR)-based instrument, and tensiometers. We found the TDR-based device easy to use and convenient in terms of its portability. Based on studies conducted in 2001 and 2002, this device demonstrated potential as a management tool in sweetpotato production. For instance, a management allowable deficit (MAD) of 25% available moisture as measured using the TDR-based device can potentially result in the same yield as weekly irrigation and a MAD of 50% available moisture. When used properly, irrigation scheduling can reduce over-irrigation and contribute to overall efficiency in the use of production inputs.

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Melvin R. Hall

`Red Jewel' sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] roots were cured [32 ± 1C, 85% relative humidity (RH)] for 7 days immediately after harvest and then subjected to selected single or combined applications of additional curing, midstorage heating, and presprouting not to exceed 21 days. Extended curing was applied for 0, 7, 14, or 21 additional days before storage (16 ± 1C, 85% RH). Midway through storage, roots were heated (32 ± 1C, 85% RH) for 0, 7, 14, or 21 days and placed back into storage. Before being bedded, roots were presprouted (32 ± 1C, 85% RH) for 0, 7, 14, or 21 days. Roots that received extended curing, midstorage heating, or presprouting or a combination of these treatments emerged earlier and produced more cumulative early, midseason, and total plants than nonheated roots. Roots heated once for 21 days produced more plants than roots heated once for 14 days; those heated for 21 days in a combination of short durations produced more early, midseason, and total number of plants than roots heated once for 21 days.

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W.J. McLaurin and S.J. Kays

Four high-yielding sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars displayed substantial leaf shedding, under typical field production conditions, that was not due to pathological or herbivory causes. Losses ranged from ≈ 45% to 60% of the total leaves formed by the normal harvest date during 2 years. There was a strong positive correlation between leaf shedding and the number of vines (r2 = 0.80) and nodes (r2 = 0.89) per plant. Likewise, positive correlations were found between leaf shedding and total dry weight (r2 = 0.67), root fresh weight (r2 = 0.65), root dry weight (r2 = 0.60), and vine dry weight (r2 = 0.68). Distinct differences were found among cultivars in dry-matter allocation within the plant. `Jewel' allocated a lower percentage of dry matter into vines and a higher percentage into storage roots. Estimated leaf dry matter losses due to leaf shedding ranged from 1.2 to 2.6 t·ha-1. High leaf losses appear to be closely related to vigorous vine growth and subsequent shading of older leaves but did not have a negative impact on storage root yield in the cultivars tested.

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S. Burrell, D. Mortley, P. Loretan, A.A Trotman, P. P David, and G. W. Carver

The effects of light intensity on three sweetpotato cultivars [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were evaluated in growth chambers, as part of NASA's Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) program for long duration space missions. Vine cuttings of `TI-155', `GA Jet', and TUJ1 were grown using nutrient film technique (NFT) in a modified half Hoagland's solution with a 1:2.4 N:K ratio in channels (0.15×0.15×1.2 m). Plants were exposed to irradiance levels of 360 or 720 umols m-2s-1 with an 18/6 photoperiod in a randomized complete block design with two replications. Temperature was set at 28:22 lightdark and RH was 70%. Differences in plant response to were more related to cultivars than the effect of light intensity. Storage root number (8) fresh, (786 g/plant) and dry weights (139 g/plant) were highest for `TI-155' while foliage fresh and dry weights were highest for `TUJ1' when averaged across light levels. TI-155' (921 g/plant) and `GA Jet' (538 g/plant) produced greater yields at higher irradiance. `TUJ1' produced a higher yield (438 g/plant at the lower intensity compared to 219 (g/plant) at the higher intensity, suggesting this cultivar could produce storage roots in similar conditions in a CELSS.

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Desmond G. Mortley

Greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate 5 levels of Mn (0.00025 to 0.1 g.L-1) on Mn toxicity or tolerance of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] grown in a modified half Hoagland's solution. The presence of oxidized Mn on the roots and leaves was demonstrated by the blue staining test with benzidene and the solubility and bleaching of oxidized Mn in the oxalic-sulfuric acid solution. Both storage root and foliage fresh and dry weights were highest at Mn concn of 0.00025 g.L-1 in the nutrient solution, while fibrous root dry weight was highest with 0.01 g.L-1 Mn in the solution. More Mn accumulated in foliage than in fibrous roots for all levels of Mn evaluated. N, P, and K concn in foliage was highest at a Mn concn of 0.1 g.L-1 Mn in the solution. Foliage dry weight was preserved up to a high Mn level of about 2700 ug. g-1 Mn in tissues, while taht for storage roots was preserved up to a high Mn level of about 1000 ug. g-1 in the tissues. Deposition of oxidized Mn was observed on fibrous roots particularly at the highest Mn levels in the nutrient solution.