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Michael Cavalier, Armen Kachatryan, Evodokia Menelaou, Jack Losso and Don LaBonte

Fresh leaves of six sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] genotypes, `Beauregard', `Bienville', L 99-35, L 00-8, L 01-145, and L 01-29 were characterized for lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid capable of delaying blindness-related macular degeneration. The content of lutein in sweetpotato ranged from 0.38 to 0.58 mg·g-1 fresh weight. Beta-carotene separated from lutein on HPLC chromatograms, and, when spiked in pure lutein extract, did not interfere with lutein separation. Stems were also characterized and found not to contain lutein. Our results showed that sweetpotato leaves are an excellent source of dietary lutein and surpass levels found in leafy crucifers. Leaves of sweetpotato and a related species are used as human food in some countries and could be a source of extracted lutein for commercial purposes.

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Desmond G. Mortley and Walter A. Hill

The influence of Azospirillum inoculation on sweetpotato Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] was evaluated in combination with fertilizer N rates of 0, 40, and 80 kg·ha-1. Plants were inoculated with 5 ml of the inoculant at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after transplanting. Inoculation increased total and marketable yield by 12% and 17%, respectively, in 1984 and 5% and 22%, respectively in 1985. Higher storage root yields were accompanied by lower foliage yields, which suggested the inoculant may enhance storage root growth at the expense of foliage growth on soils with low to moderate N levels (40 to 80 kg·ha-1). Storage root N (1984 and 1985) and leaf N (1985) were higher for 40 kg N/ha with inoculation than with inoculation alone (treatments 4 vs. 2), which suggested that Azospirillum plus fertilizer N increased the N content of the plants.

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Raymond P. Chée, Jonathan R. Schultheis and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Plant formation from somatic embryos in response to BAP, NAA, and sucrose was studied in sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. A maximum of 15% embryos at the torpedo stage of development formed plants of agar-solidified basal medium containing 3% sucrose and no growth regulators. The percentage of embryos forming shoots was increased to 53% by 4 μm BAP, but BAP reduced whole plant formation and promoted callusing at the root axis end of embryos. The frequency of plant development was increased to 38% by adding 0.1 μm NAA to the basal medium. Reducing sucrose concentration to 1.6% in basal medium increased the frequency of plant development to 32%. Chemical names used: 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP; α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA).

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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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Ki-Cheol Son, Ray F. Severson, Maurice E. Snook and Stanley J. Kays

Methanol extracts of external (outer 3 mm) and interior root tissue of four sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] cultivars (`Centennial', `Jewel', `Regal', and `Resisto') having different levels of susceptibility to the sweetpotato weevil [Cylas formicarius elegantulus Summer] were analyzed for simple carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose, inositol) and organic acids (malic, citric, quinic) by gas chromatography and for phenolics (caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acids, rutin) by high-performance liquid chromatography. There were significant differences among cultivars in the concentrations of total sugars and phenolics in the external tissue (P < 0.05). In addition, the distribution of carbohydrates, organic acids, and chlorogenic acid [3-O-caffeoylquinic acid] differed between external and interior tissues. Sucrose was the major water-soluble carbohydrate in all cultivars. With the exception of malic acid, the concentration of carbohydrates, organic acids, and phenolics did not correlate with cultivar susceptibility to the sweetpotato weevil.

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E. Niyonsaba, E. G. Rhoden and P. K. Biswas

The uptake of nutrients by sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is critical in determining crop yield. Research was conducted to assess the effects of gypsum application on the nutrient uptake in three sweetpotato cultivars; `Carver II', `Georgia Jet' and `Jewel'. Gypsum application did not influence leaf P content of sweetpotato. However application of 3 tons per acre of gypsum increased leaf N and K content in `Carver II' and `Jewel' at 60 and 90 days after planting. There was a similar increase observed in Ca and Mg content of the leaf. While rate of gypsum did not influence nutrient uptake, date of sampling significantly influenced leaf nutrient concentration. It was noted that leaf K for `Jewel' and Ca for `Carver II' were greatest at 60 days after planting. Overall, Mg content was decreased following the application of gypsum in both `Carver II' and `Georgia Jet' cultivars.

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Jesse R. Quarrels and Paul G. Thompson

An experiment was conducted to determine the rate and frequency of irrigation needed for optimum yield in sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.)Lam). A line source irrigation system was used to provide continuously increasing amounts of water at each irrigation. The physiological responses of sweetpotato to water application were measured. There was an increase in leaf water potential with increasing rates of irrigation. Leaf diffusive resistance decreased as total water rate increased to 76% of pan evaporation (Epan) and then increased with higher rates of irrigation. Marketable yields increased as total water rate increased to 76% of Epan and then decreased rapidly with higher irrigation rates. Water relations measurements indicated that reduction in yield with higher amounts of water application was due to low soil oxygen content.

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Jyh-Bin Sun, Ray F. Severson and Stanley J. Kays

We describe a relatively simple collection procedure for quantifying volatiles in baked sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. Volatiles formed during baking `Jewel' and `Centennial' sweetpotatoes at 204C were purged from a baking vessel with He or a HeO2 mixture, collected in cold methylene chloride, and reduced in volume using a Kuderna-Danish concentrator. Volatile components were quantified by capillary gas chromatography and characterized using gas chromatographic-mass spectrometer analysis. Quantitatively, the major components were identified as 2-furaldehyde; 2-furanmethanol; benzaldehyde; 5-methyl-2-furfural; phenylacetaldehyde; 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4 H -pyran-4-one; 2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-4 H- pyran-4-one; and 5-hydroxy-methyl-2-furancarboxaldehyde. Some quantitatively minor compounds were also identified. The volatile collection system is reproducible for quantitative comparisons among breeding lines.

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Raymond P. Chée and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Embryogenic callus of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] disassociates in liquid medium to form a heterogeneous population of embryogenic and nonembryogenic cell aggregates of varying sizes. To improve embryo production, such cell aggregate populations were obtained by manually fragmenting calli 5 to 10 mm in size into liquid medium. The resulting suspensions were analyzed and the embryogenic fraction identified. The percentage of embryogenic aggregates and the percentage of aggregates forming embryos decreased with decreasing aggregate size. Thus, 76% of the 710- to 1000-μm-diameter aggregates but only 14% of the 180- to 250-μm aggregates had embryogenic potential. However, only 20% of the 710- to 1000-μm aggregates and only 2% of the 180- to 250-μm aggregates actually formed embryos. Conversely, embryogenic callus and embryo production per milligram of cultured embryogenic callus increased quadratically with decreasing aggregate size. Individual torpedo-stage embryos were produced from cell aggregates 180 to 250 μm in size.