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Douglas Miano, Don LaBonte and Christopher Clark

Sweetpotato is an important staple food crop in Sub-Saharan Africa, with production being concentrated in East Africa, particularly around Lake Victoria. Productivity of the crop is greatly constrained by viral diseases. Four main viruses have consistently been detected from various surveys done in the region viz., sweetpotato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), sweetpotato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV), sweetpotato mild mottle virus (Sp.m.MV), and sweetpotato chlorotic fleck virus (SPCFV). The most severe symptoms have been caused by co-infection with SPCSV and SPFMV, resulting in the synergistic sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD). Some local sweetpotato genotypes have been reported to recover from, or have localized distribution of SPVD, suggesting that the disease is not fully systemic. This has led to the suggestion that uninfected cuttings may be obtained from previously infected plants. Experiments were set to determine the possibility of obtaining cuttings long enough for propagation that are free from virus infection. This would form a basis for recommending to the local small-holder farmers of a way to reduce losses due to the disease. Field-grown sweetpotato vines were cut into three pieces (15, 15–30, and >30 cm from the apex) and tested for SPCSV and SPFMV. Nine genotypes were selected from a group of 21 local clones and used for this study. The two viruses were equally present in all the three sections of infected vines, indicating that it is not easy to obtain a virus-free cutting for field propagation from an infected vine. Virus assays in the past has mainly been limited to the use of serological methods. Use of PCR resulted in detection of begomoviruses infecting sweetpotatoes for the first time in the region.

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Benard Yada, Phinehas Tukamuhabwa, Arthur Villordon, Agnes Alajo and Robert O.M. Mwanga

). Genetic erosion threatens this diversity as a result of sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) caused by dual infection of Sweetpotato feathery mottle virus ( Potyvirus; Potyviridae ) and Sweetpotato chlorotic stunt virus ( Crinivirus; Closteroviridae

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Robert O.M. Mwanga, Benson Odongo, Charles Niringiye, Agnes Alajo, Benjamin Kigozi, Rose Makumbi, Esther Lugwana, Joweria Namukula, Isaac Mpembe, Regina Kapinga, Berga Lemaga, James Nsumba, Silver Tumwegamire and Craig G. Yencho

field resistance to sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) and Alternaria bataticola blight and high storage root yields compared with the average national storage root yield of 4.0 t·ha −1 ( International Potato Center, 1999 ). The release of these five

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Cecilia E. McGregor, Douglas W. Miano, Don R. LaBonte, Mary Hoy, Chris A. Clark and Guilherme J.M. Rosa

. Moyer, J.W. 2007 First report of sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus, a component of sweetpotato virus disease, in North Carolina Plant Dis. 91 327 Alfenas-Zerbini, P. Maia, I.G. Fãvaro, R.D. Cascardo

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Benard Yada, Phinehas Tukamuhabwa, Bramwell Wanjala, Dong-Jin Kim, Robert A. Skilton, Agnes Alajo and Robert O.M. Mwanga

). Therefore, identification of parental genotypes with high sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD), Alternaria blight disease and pest resistance, yield, and dry matter content for breeding is critical in Uganda. The National Crops Resources Research Institute

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Benard Yada, Gina Brown-Guedira, Agnes Alajo, Gorrettie N. Ssemakula, Robert O.M. Mwanga and G. Craig Yencho

sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) resistant, high dry matter content, and white-fleshed released Ugandan landrace cultivar ( Mwanga et al., 2001 ; Stevenson et al., 2009 ). ‘Beauregard’ (male) is a weevil and SPVD susceptible, low dry matter content, and

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Rukundo Placide, Hussein Shimelis, Mark Laing and Daphrose Gahakwa

sweetpotato research in developing countries: Results of a survey HortScience 42 1200 1206 Gibson, R.W. Aritua, V. Byamukama, E. Mpembe, I. Kayongo, J. 2004 Control strategies for sweetpotato virus disease in Africa Virus Res. 100 115 122 Gibson, R