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  • Author or Editor: Clyde T. Young x
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A population of 100 sweet potato seedlings from 7 parent clones was grown for one season in order to evaluate root protein quantity and quality. Protein content of the 100 seedlings ranged from 4.38% to 8.98% with a mean of 6.29%; the 7 parents ranged from 4.96% to 6.53% with a mean of 5.72%. The mean of the seedlings was not significantly different from that of the parents. The 10 seedlings with highest protein (7.40% to 8.98%) were selected for further study of protein quality. Levels of nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) in these high protein selections were not significantly different from those of the parents. The correlation between the percentage of protein and the percentage of NPN was low (r = 0.30). The amino acid pattern in the high protein selections differed significantly from the parents with lower levels of valine, cysteine, methionine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine. Trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA) levels in the selected seedlings did not vary significantly from the parents. TIA and the percentage of protein were not significantly correlated (r = 0.15). The results indicate it is possible to obtain high protein cultivars without increasing the percentages of NPN and TIA. With the exception of valine, the aromatic and sulfur-containing amino acids, the overall protein quality was not changed in the seedlings with increased protein content.

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