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  • Author or Editor: Kenneth V. Pecota x
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Eight clones of sweetpotato [Ipomaea batatas (L.) Lam.] at five N levels in 1992 and five clones at three N levels in 1993 were evaluated for genotypic variation in N use efficiency [NUE (yield/unit N fertilizer applied)], uptake efficiency (N accumulated/unit N fertilizer applied), and utilization efficiency (yield/N accumulated). There were significant genotypic differences for all NUE components and the variables used for calculation. When total marketable yield was used in calculating NUE, utilization efficiency was always more important than uptake efficiency in accounting for NUE variation. Regression equations developed from 1992 NUE components and selected non-N variables used to calculate them ranked the 1993 NUE components correctly when averaged over all clones. Uptake efficiency could be predicted by biomass; utilization efficiency by total marketable yield.

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Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is one of the world’s most important and widely grown starch crops. It is usually produced for direct human consumption but can be readily converted to simple sugars that then have industrial end uses. The objective of this study was to compare the carbohydrate yield of the conventional sweetpotato cultivar, Beauregard, with new clones selected specifically for higher carbohydrate production. Ten sweetpotato clones were grown from both slips and root pieces at five locations, over 2 years, in North Carolina. A sweetpotato clone selected for high carbohydrate production, and planted as slips, yielded on average 4150 kg·ha−1 of carbohydrates, 10% to 15% higher than Beauregard. The chemical composition of roots was unaffected by planting method, but slips usually outyielded the same clone grown from root pieces. Carbohydrate yield was significantly impacted by genotype × environment effects in both slips and root pieces. We conclude that further work will be needed to develop sweetpotato clones with both high carbohydrate content and high yield potential, and that are also adapted to planting from root pieces. Any breeding and development work will need to take into account genotype × environment effects.

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Various workers have attempted to develop a root piece planting system for sweetpotato, similar to the system used commercially for potato, but attempts to select and breed sweetpotato clones adapted to root piece planting have met with mixed success. It has been hypothesized this is the result of significant genotype × environment effects, which are complicating phenotype screening. The aim of this work was to investigate genotype × environment interactions and yield stability of sweetpotato grown from cut root pieces. Ten sweetpotato clones were grown from cut root pieces in three locations over three seasons at sites in North Carolina and Mississippi. The study found sweetpotato clones grown from root pieces were influenced by both genetic and environmental factors and that the interaction was often complicated and dependent on the trait being measured. A significant genotype × environment interaction and yield instability were found to be present. Further work will be required to understand the nature of the genotype × environment effects; however, the results suggest programs aiming to develop sweetpotato clones adapted to root piece planting will need to use appropriate multienvironment screening so as to account for genotype × environment effects.

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‘Covington’ is an orange-fleshed, smooth-skinned, rose-colored, table-stock sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] developed by North Carolina State University (NCSU). ‘Covington’, named after the late Henry M. Covington, an esteemed sweetpotato scientist at North Carolina State, was evaluated as NC98-608 in multiple state and regional yield trials during 2001 to 2006. ‘Covington’ produces yields equal to ‘Beauregard’, a dominant sweetpotato variety produced in the United States, but it is typically 5 to 10 days later in maturity. ‘Covington’ typically sizes its storage roots more evenly than ‘Beauregard’ resulting in fewer jumbo class roots and a higher percentage of number one roots. Total yields are similar for the two clones with the dry matter content of ‘Covington’ storage roots typically being 1 to 2 points higher than that of ‘Beauregard’. ‘Covington’ is resistant to fusarium wilt [Fusarium oxysporum Schlect. f.sp. batatas (Wollenw.) Snyd. & Hans.], southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White 1919) Chitwood 1949 race 3], and moderately resistant to streptomyces soil rot [Streptomyces ipomoeae (Person & W.J. Martin) Wakswan & Henrici]. Symptoms of the russet crack strain of Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus have not been observed in ‘Covington’. The flavor of the baked storage roots of ‘Covington’ has been rated as very good by standardized and informal taste panels and typically scores as well or better in this regard when compared with ‘Beauregard’.

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