The sweet potato Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. is classified in series Batatas (Choisy) in Convolvulaceae, with 12 other species and an interspecific true hybrid. The phylogenetic relationships of a sweetpotato cultivar and 13 accessions of Ipomoeas in the series Batatas were investigated using the nucleotide sequence variation of the nuclear-encoded β-amylase gene. First, flowers were examined to identify the species, and DNA flow cytometry used to determine their ploidy. The sweetpotato accession was confirmed as a hexaploid, I. tabascana a tetraploid, and all other species were diploids. A 1.1–1.3 kb fragment of the β-amylase gene spanning two exons separated by a long intron was PCR-amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Exon sequences were highly conserved, while the intron yielded large sequence differences. Intron analysis grouped species currently recognized as A and B genome types into separate clades. This grouping supported the prior classification of all the species, with one exception. The species I. tiliacea was previously classified as a B genome species, but this DNA study classifies it as an A genome species. From the intron alignment, sequences specific to both A and B genome species were identified. Exon sequences indicated that I. ramosissima and I. umbraticola were quite different from other A genome species. Placement of I. littoralis was questionable: its introns were similar to other B genome species, but exons were quite different. Exon evolution indicated the B genome species evolved faster than A genome species. Both intron and exon results indicated the B genome species most closely related to sweetpotato (I. batatas) were I. trifida and I. tabascana.
Phosphine (PH3) is a potential alternative fumigant to methyl bromide for insect disinfestation of cut flowers. King protea (Protea cynaroides L.), tulip (Tulipa gesneriana `Apeldoorn'), kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii Hook.), and geraldton wax (Chamelaucium uncinatum `Purple Pride') were fumigated with PH3 at varying concentrations (100 to 8000 μL·L-1) for 2, 4, or 6 hours. Vase life was evaluated at 20 °C, 65% relative humidity, and constant illumination with a photosynthetically active radiation of 15 μmol·m-2·S-1. No significant change in vase life was observed for kangaroo paws after any of the PH3 fumigations. A 6-hour fumigation at 8000 μL·L-1 significantly reduced vase life in king protea, tulip, and geraldton wax flower. Geraldton wax flower and tulip were relatively sensitive to PH3, as they were damaged by 4000 μL·L-1 for 6 hours and 8000 μL·L-1 for 4 hours, respectively. Phosphine has potential as an insect disinfestation fumigant for king protea, tulip, and kangaroo paw at 4000 (μL·L-1 for 6 hours without affecting vase life or causing damage.