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Alfred Jones

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars with high levels of resistance to root damaging insects have been developed through the collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary research team. These resistances were combined with other traits necessary for a successful cultivar such as: disease resistances; high yield; long storage life; prolific sprout production; marketable root size, shape and skin at tributes; and culinary excellence. Adpotion of quantitative genetic principles, development of a wide gene base, sequential selection schemes, use of effective selection criteria and appropriate susceptible standards contributed to the program's success. These achievements were made with, little prior knowledge about inheritance patterns, gene action, mechanisms of resistance or a complete knowledge of the insects concerned. The value of insect resistant cultivars has become better appreciated with the recent decrease in chemical alternatives.

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Alfred Jones

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars with high levels of resistance to root damaging insects have been developed through the collaborative efforts of a multidisciplinary research team. These resistances were combined with other traits necessary for a successful cultivar such as: disease resistances; high yield; long storage life; prolific sprout production; marketable root size, shape and skin at tributes; and culinary excellence. Adpotion of quantitative genetic principles, development of a wide gene base, sequential selection schemes, use of effective selection criteria and appropriate susceptible standards contributed to the program's success. These achievements were made with, little prior knowledge about inheritance patterns, gene action, mechanisms of resistance or a complete knowledge of the insects concerned. The value of insect resistant cultivars has become better appreciated with the recent decrease in chemical alternatives.

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Alfred Jones

Nonreduction of pollen mother ceils was observed in a wild tetraploid morning-g&y related to the sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam.). Techniques for identifying and determining the frequency of expression of the trait are straightforward. Previous strategies for transfer of germplasm from tetraploid (2n = 4x = 60) species to the hexaploid (2n = 6x = 90) sweetpotato involved crosses with diploids (2n = 2x = 30) to obtain triploids that then were doubled to 6x. Nonreduction of pollen mother cells probably represents the natural mechanism for raising 4x to 6x since pollination of 2x ovules with unreduced pollen (4x) should give rise to 6x progeny without need for somatic doubling. Plants carrying this trait should be useful as bridging types for introgressing genes from wild 4x species into sweetpotato. A wide range in nonreduction (up to, 74%) was recovered In progeny of controlled crosses among selected plants, but data were not sufficient to estimate gene action.

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Janice R. Bohac, Alfred Jones and Daniel F. Austin

Previous work in this laboratory identified high levels of unreduced (2n) pollen in the tetraploid (4×) Ipomoea spp. Acc. 81.2. This work provided indirect evidence that 2n pollen was involved in the evolution of the 6x ploidy level of the cultivated sweetpotato (I. batatas). To further study the role of 2n pollen in sweetpotato evolution, we examined plants of Acc. 81.2. plants of five sweetpotato cultivars, and 100 randomly selected heterozygous sweetpotato seedlings. The 4× Acc. 81.2 was determined to be I. batatas. High levels of large 2n pollen were confirmed in Acc. 81.2, and low levels of 2n pollen were observed in `Sulfur' and in 16% of the sweetpotato seedlings. Presence of monad, dyad, and triad sporads confirmed that the large 2n pollen grains were the result of nonreduction in the sporad stage. These new findings are direct evidence that 2n pollen was involved in the evolution of the 6× ploidy level of sweetpotato. This is the first report of a 4× accession classified as I. batatas; it is also the first report of 2n pollen in 6× I. batatas The widespread presence of 2n pollen in sweetpotato suggests that the trait can be used to advantage in breeding programs to introgress genes from wild 4× Ipomoea spp. into cultivated 6× sweetpotato without adverse effects on genetic stability or fertility.

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James M. Schalk, Philip D. Dukes, Alfred Jones and Robert L. Jarret

The reactions of eight sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] introductions were categorized for root damage by wireworms, Diabrotica sp., Systena sp. (WDS), sweetpotato flea beetle (SPFB), and grubs. Clones were compared with resistant (`Regal') and susceptible (`SC-1149-19') entries. The number of resistant clones for the WDS, SPFB, and grubs were three, four, and one, respectively, intermediate five, four, and one, and susceptible zero, zero, and six, respectively. This test demonstrated that significant levels of soil insect resistance exist in these sweetpotato introductions for use by plant breeders.

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Alfred Jones, Philip D. Dukes, James M. Schalk and Max G. Hamilton

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James M. Schalk, Alfred Jones, Philip D. Dukes and Kenneth P. Burnham

This study was designed to determine if the preference of soil insects for sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars is affected by the proximity of resistant or susceptible plant cultivars at various spacings. Comparisons were made for damage caused by wireworms (Conoderus spp.), Diabrotica spp., Systena spp., sweetpotato flea beetles (Chaetocnema confinis Crotch), and grubs (Plectris aliena Chapin; Phyllophaga ephilida Say) in previously reported resistant and susceptible cultivars. Field plots were planted with a resistant cultivar, a susceptible cultivar, or the two cultivars intermixed. Large roots exhibited more insect damage than medium and small roots. When plant spacing was increased, roots were larger and insect damage more severe. Mixed plantings of resistant and susceptible cultivars significantly reduced insect damage in the susceptible plants. Planting regime did not influence insect damage for the resistant cultivars.