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Peggy Ozias-Akins and Srini Perera

One cm segments from adventitious roots of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) will regenerate shoots when cultured on Murashige and Skoog salts and vitamins plus either sucrose (1-3%) or fructose (1-6%). The best source for adventitious roots is sweet potato shoot cultures maintained in Magenta vessels. A low concentration of cytokinin (0.02 mg/liter) promotes shoot formation. Higher levels of cytokinin (0.1-0.5 mg/liter) encourage callus growth. The maximum average number of shoots formed per root segment attained thus far is 0.5. Attempts are being made to increase the frequency of shoot formation. Regeneration of shoots from roots also may be a useful method for obtaining plants from protoplasts of sweet potato. Protoplasts can be isolated from mesophyll tissue and petioles of in vitro grown plants. Plating efficiency of up to 12% routinely can be obtained. Shoot formation directly from callus is sporadic; root formation is more frequent.

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Sharon R. Funderburk and Wanda W. Collins

Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum L.) was used as a N source for sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. Treatments were designed to compare estimated N delivery by clover incorporation amounts of N delivered by inorganic fertilizer. Plants were sampled every 14 days and sectioned into four parts: shoots, stem tips, fibrous and storage roots. Dry matter content was significantly influenced by time. Total plant dry matter was lowest in the highest inorganic N treatment. Nitrogen concentration (DWB) decreased over time and was highest in the highest inorganic N treatment. Similar vine weights were noted in N and clover treatments while number of storage roots per plant was unaffected by treatment as was weight per storage root, which increased linearly over time. No significant difference existed between the high and low N application treatment or late clover incorporation treatment in any grade of storage roots except culls, which were 90% lower in clover treatments than in N fertilizer treatments.

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Essie T. Blay, Anant Porobo-Dessai and C. S. Prakash

Explants of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and garden egg plant (Solanum integrifolium) were cocultivated with disarmed strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens containing binary vectors with gusA, gusA-nptll fusion or gusA-intron genes. We examined whether the addition of vir gene inducers during cocultivation would improve the transformation in both crops. Acetosyringone and galacturonic acid were tested individually and in combination. A very high GUS expression was detected histochemically in both plant species. The frequency and extent of transformation varied with the type of explant, petioles being the most responsive. The presence of the vir inducing substances in the medium influenced the percent explant area transformed but did not appreciably affect the frequency of transformation. The selective proliferation of the transformed tissue and organogenesis was achieved by the culture of explants on MS medium supplemented with antibiotics.

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Paul G. Thompson, Doyle A. Smittle and Melvin R. Hall

A line-source irrigation design was used to provide continuously increasing amounts of irrigation at each application to sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam]. Marketable yields increased with applied irrigation amounts until a total water application of 76% of pan evaporation (Epan) was reached and then decreased rapidly with applied irrigation amounts. Weight loss and decay of roots during storage showed quadratic responses to irrigation amounts and were minimal at the irrigation level of maximum yields. Contents of dextrins and maltose increased with irrigation amounts. Glucose content was maximum at a total water amount of 94% Epan and fructose content decreased with increased amounts of irrigation. Sensory ratings for appearance, flavor, texture, and preference, and objective color measurements of cooked flesh also reached their highest values near the irrigation amount of maximum yield.

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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.

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C. A. Clark, R. A. Valverde, J. A. Wilder-Ayers and P. E. Nelson

Symptoms of chlorotic leaf distortion (CLD) develop on vigorously growing sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) plants during sunny weather. They include chlorosis and twisting of young, expanding leaves and the appearance of white material on the adaxial leaf surfaces. The white material consisted of extramatrical fungal mycelia and Fusarium macroconidia. Fusarium lateritium Nees was isolated from surface-sterilized vine segments, leaf primordia, apical meristems, flower parts and true seeds of plants with CLD. Meristem-tip-culture-derived plants (mericlones) did not develop symptoms when grown for extended periods under disease-conducive conditions in the greenhouse. The fungus was not isolated from mericlones or other plants which had remained symptomless in the greenhouse but was isolated from lower nodes of symptomless plants from growers' fields. Symptoms developed on 84% of 185 mericlones of nine sweetpotato genotypes inoculated with F. lateritium isolated from CLD-affected plants. The pathogen was reisolated only from inoculated mericlones.

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Doyle A. Smittle, Melvin R. Hall and Paul G. Thompson

Responses of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L>) Lam) to irrigation rates were evaluated under line-source irrigation systems on Tifton loamy sand soil in Georgia and on a Bude silt loam soil in Mississippi. Total water (rainfall plus irrigation) rates ranged from about 55% to 160% of pan evaporation (Epan). Marketable yields increased with irrigation rate until total water was about 75% of Epan then decreased rapidly with greater irrigation rates. Sweet potato yields were more sensitive to excessive water rates when grown on a silt loam than on a sandy loam soil. Storage loss and quality of cooked 'Jewel' sweet potato roots also increased as the irrigation rate increased until total water was 75% to 95% of Epan then decreased rapidly at water rates of 135 to 160% of Epan.

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

A study was conducted to assess the effects of gypsum on the early growth and storage root yield of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) cvs `Jewel', `Goergia Jet' and `TI-155'. Three rates of gypsum were applied (1.03, 2.06 and 3.09 tons/acre). These represented half, recommended and 1.5 recommended levels. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with a split plot arrangement of treatment. Leaf area, total dry matter, leaf dry matter and stat-age root weight were recorded at 30-day intervals. Plants receiving half the recommended levels of gypsum produced the highest total storage root dry matter (0.306 t/a) and the highest leaf dry matter (0.116 t/a). Although a positive relationship exists between leaf dry matter and storage root yield between 90 and 120 days, there was no such relationship between those parameters either at 30 and 60 days or 60 and 90 days after transplanting.

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Evdokia Menelaou, Armen Kachatryan, Jack N. Losso, Michael Cavalier and Don La Bonte

Fresh leaves of 6 sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam.) genotypes, `Beauregard', `Bienville', L99–35, L00–8, L01–145, and L01–29, 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 high-pressure liquid chromatograms and when spiked in pure lutein extract did not interfere with lutein separation. High-resolution electro-spray ionization mass spectrometric analysis was used to confirm the presence of lutein in sweetpotato leaves. 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 human food in some countries and may be a major source of lutein for commercial purposes.

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Devi Prasad V. Potluri

Two cultivars of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.], Commensal and Salyboro, were subjected to salt stress using axillary bud cultures. The salt levels ranged from 0–150 mM. After 10 weeks of growth, plantlet shoot height, dry weight, number of nodes, levels of proline, soluble carbohydrate, and protein; and metal ions sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, were measured. In both cultivars, proline accumulation was higher in the shoot. There was a positive correlation between the increase in soluble carbohydrates and proteins in `Commnesal', but not in `Salyboro'. More sodium accumulated in the shoots of `Salyboro' compared to `Commensal'. The accumulation of sodium reduced the calcium and potassium, but not magnesium levels. Increase in sodium levels correlated with the increase in soluble carbohydrate levels is `Salyboro', but not in `Commensal'. A similar trend was evident with praline and sodium accumulation. Based on these and previous results, the cultivar `Salyboro' appears to be more susceptible to salt stress.