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L. Mark Lagrimini, Jill Vaughn, John Finer, Karen Klotz and Patrick Rubaihayo

Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. OH 7814) were transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens with a chimeric tobacco anionic peroxidase (EC 1.11.1.7) gene joined to the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. Transgenic plants obtained by selection on kanamycin were found to have more than five times the total leaf peroxidase activity of control plants. Transformed tomato plants chronically wilted upon reaching sexual maturity. Two independently selected transformants were self-fertilized, and progeny were obtained that were homozygous for the foreign gene. Isoelectric focusing gels stained for peroxidase activity revealed a new tomato leaf peroxidase isoenzyme with a pI of 3.75, which is similar to that seen in Nicotiana sylvestris L. Mature tomato fruit were found to have up to 1600-fold higher peroxidase activity in transformants expressing the tobacco anionic peroxidase (TobAnPOD) than control plants. Tissue blots showed the tobacco enzyme evenly distributed throughout the tomato fruit tissue. Progeny plants possessing the tobacco peroxidase gene (now homozygous) showed stunting, and fruit size was reduced by >80%. However, fruit set was normal and the rate of ripening was not altered from control plants. Fruit from transformed plants were found to have normal pigmentation, but the soluble solids concentration was 400% higher than in control tomato fruit. This result was predicted from the peroxidase-induced water stress. Possible roles for the tobacco anionic peroxidase in growth, development, and stress resistance are discussed.

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Rolland Agaba, Phinehas Tukamuhabwa, Patrick Rubaihayo, Silver Tumwegamire, Andrew Ssenyonjo, Robert O.M. Mwanga, Jean Ndirigwe and Wolfgang J. Grüneberg

The amount of genotypic and phenotypic variability that exists in a species is important for selection and initiating breeding programs. Yam bean is grown locally in tropical countries of the Americas and Asia for their tasty storage roots, which usually have low dry matter content. The crop was recently introduced in Uganda and other East and Central African countries to supplement iron (Fe) and protein content in diets. This study aimed to estimate genetic variability for root yield and quality traits among 26 yam bean accessions in Uganda. A randomized complete block design was used with two replications across two ecogeographical locations and two seasons during 2012 and 2013. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to determine quality of storage root samples. Significant differences among genotypes were observed for all traits except root protein, zinc (Zn), and phosphorus contents. Genotypic variance components () were significant for storage root fresh yield (SRFY), storage root dry matter (SRDM), storage root dry yield (SRDY), vine yield (VNY), fresh biomass yield (FBY), and storage root starch (STA) and Fe contents. For traits with significant the broad sense heritability estimates ranged from 58.4% for SRDY to 83.6% for FBY; and phenotypic coefficients of variation were high for SRFY (66%), SRDY (53.3%), VNY (60.5%), and FBY (59%), but low to medium for SRDM (22.6%), STA (15.1%), and Fe (21.3%). Similarly, the genotypic coefficients of variation were high for SRFY (56.7%), SRDY (53.3%), VNY (55%), and FBY (53.9%); and low for SRDM (20%), STA (12.4%), and Fe (17.8%). There were strong positive correlations between SRFY and both SRDY (r = 0.926) and FBY (r = 0.962), but low-to-moderate correlations among quality traits. It should be possible to breed for high dry matter yam beans by using low dry matter accessions due to the observed genetic variation ( = 9.3%2), which is important if the high dry matter Pachyrhizus tuberosus accessions (known as chuin) from Peru cannot be accessed. This study indicated substantial genetic variation for yield and quality traits in yam bean, demonstrating potential for adaptability to growing conditions and consumer needs in East and Central Africa and for genetic improvement through selection.

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Silver Tumwegamire, Regina Kapinga, Patrick R. Rubaihayo, Don R. LaBonte, Wolfgang J. Grüneberg, Gabriela Burgos, Thomas zum Felde, Rosemary Carpio, Elke Pawelzik and Robert O.M. Mwanga

The present study evaluated selected East African (EA) sweetpotato varieties for storage root dry matter and nutrient content and obtained information on the potential contributions of the varieties to alleviate vitamin A and mineral deficiencies. Roots obtained from 89 farmer (white- and orange-fleshed) varieties and one introduced variety (‘Resisto’) were analyzed for storage root quality using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy technology. Location differences were only significant for starch content. The variance was significant (P < 0.01) for all the traits except sucrose content. Overall, the farmer varieties had higher dry matter, higher starch, and lower sucrose contents than the control clone, ‘Resisto’. It is these qualities that make sweetpotato attractive as a starchy staple in EA. A low population's mean β-carotene content (19.0 ppm) was observed. However, deep orange-fleshed farmer varieties, ‘Carrot_C’, ‘Ejumula’, ‘Carrot Dar’, ‘Mayai’, and ‘Zambezi’, had β-carotene content that can meet 350% or greater of recommended daily allowance (RDA) with 250-g serving to a 5- to 8–year-old child. More but light orange-fleshed farmer varieties ‘K-118’, ‘K-134’, ‘K-46’, ‘KMI61’, ‘MLE162 Nakahi’, ‘PAL161’, ‘Sowola6’, ‘Sponge’, ‘SRT34 Abuket2’, ‘SRT35 Anyumel’, ‘SRT52’, and ‘Sudan’ can provide 50% to 90% RDA of pro-vitamin A for the child. The root minerals’ content was generally low except for magnesium whose content can meet 50% or greater RDA in many farmer varieties. However, in areas with high sweetpotato consumption, varieties ‘Carrot_C’, ‘Carrot Dar’, ‘KRE nylon’, ‘MLE163 Kyebandula’, and ‘SRT49 Sanyuzameza’ can make good intakes of iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. In conclusion, some EA farmer varieties can contribute greatly to alleviation of vitamin A deficiency and substantial mineral intakes.