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MD. Shahidul Islam*, M. Jalaluddin, M. Yoshimoto and O. Yamakawa

The antibacterial activity of artificially grown sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] leaves was investigated against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria namely Escherichia coli (O157:H7), Bacillus and Ecolai using three different cultivars, which are developed to use as a leafy vegetables namely Simon-1, Kyushu-119 and Elegant Summer. The sweetpotato leaves were grown under different temperatures (20 °C, 25 °C, and 30 °C) and artificial shading (O%, 40% and 80%) conditions. There were some cultivar differences but the lyophilized leaf powder (100 mg) from all the cultivars in the Trypto Soya Broth cultivation medium (10 mL) strongly suppressed the growth of all the bacteria studied and its effect was detectable even after autoclave treatment. But the antibacterial extract of the leaves had no effect on the growth of five types of bifidobacterium useful for human health. The water extracted antibacterial fractions from all the cultivars were viscous and the color was brown. Furthermore, the leaves grown under moderate low temperature (20 °C) with 0% shading treatments strongly suppressed the bacterial growth as comported to other treatments, which was accompanied by significantly high accumulation of sugar and polyphenol contents in the leaves. The results also suggest that there were a strong relationship among bacterial growth and antioxidatative compounds in the sweetpotato leaves. Therefore, the antibacterial action of sweetpotato leaves may depend on their antioxidative compounds or/and pectin like materials. Thus, the practical use of sweetpotato leaves is expected to prevent bacteria caused food poisoning.

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Sriyani Rajapakse, Janice Ryan-Bohac, Sasanda Nilmalgoda, Robert Ballard and Daniel F. Austin

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.

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Allan M. Armitage and James M. Garner

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Rozalyn Pama*, Jay Doronila and Mari Marutani

Fifteen sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] accessions grown on Guam were studied for morphological and genetic characteristics. Accessions, obtained from AVRDC (Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center) in Taiwan, Saipan, Rota, and Guam, were investigated for marketable yield, growth habit and characteristics of tuberous roots (color, shape, sugar content and moisture content). Results of this study were used to determine the morphological relationship of the accessions of sweetpotato. Phenetic analysis revealed four major clusters according to tuberous root characteristics. The genetic relationship of these sweetpotato accessions was also evaluated for genetic differences among accessions. DNA was extracted and went through polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR products were analyzed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting. Result of the genetic relationship among the sweetpotatoes was compared with the morphology of accessions using UPGMA cluster analysis and principal compounds analysis.

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Md. Shahidul Islam, Makoto Yoshimoto, Koji Ishiguro, Shigenori Okuno and Osamu Yamakawa

The phenolic content and the radical scavenging activity were compared in leaves of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) cultivars Shimon-1, Kyushu-119 and Elegant Summer grown under different temperature and shading conditions. Compared to cultivar differences, there was less effect of temperature and shading on the total phenolic content in sweetpotato leaves, however certain polyphenolic components differed widely among the treatments. The positive correlation between the radical scavenging activity and the level of total phenolics (r = 0.62) suggests that phenolic compounds are important antioxidant components of sweetpotato leaves. All the reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) profiles of the cultivars tested showed peaks at the same retention times but peak areas of individual phenolic compounds differed with respective temperature and shading treatments. The phenolic compounds identified in the sweetpotato leaf were caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, and 3,4,5-tri-O-caffeoylquinic acid. Most of the phenolic compounds were highest in leaves from plants grown at 20 °C without shading except 4,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid. The results indicate that growing leaves under moderately high temperatures and in full sun enhances the accumulation of phenolic components. These phenolic components have possible value in enhancing human health.

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Silver Tumwegamire, Regina Kapinga, Patrick R. Rubaihayo, Don R. LaBonte, Wolfgang J. Grüneberg, Gabriela Burgos, Thomas zum Felde, Rosemary Carpio, Elke Pawelzik and Robert O.M. Mwanga

Sweetpotato [ Ipomoea batatas (L.)] ranks fifth in importance for its caloric contribution in developing countries after rice, wheat, maize, and cassava ( CIP, 2005 ). In some areas of EA, the crop has become a staple ( Scott et al., 2000 ). For

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C.S. Prakash, U. Varadarajan and A. S. Kumar

Development of a gene transfer system will enable rapid introduction of agronomically useful genes into elite cultivars of sweet potato. We compared microprojectile bombardment and Agrobacterium cocultivation approaches to introduce foreign genes into the genome of two sweet potato cultivars. Chimeric marker genes (gusA and kan) were successfully introduced into cvs. Jewel and TIS-70357 using both approaches. However, transgenic plants were generated in vitro using only the Agrobacterium approach. Callus and root isolates with stable expression of gusA gene were obtained using the microprojectile method. Expression of the screenable marker gusA gene was detected by histochemical assays. Integration of the introduced gene into the genome of sweet potato was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the kan gene and Southern blot analyses. Transgenic sweet potato plants from two cultivars are being raised and studied for quantitative expression and localization of the introduced genes. These results show that foreign genes can be successfully introduced and expressed in sweet potato. Current efforts are directed at optimizing several variables to increase the transformation efficiencies and to generate transgenic cultivars with foreign genes of agricultural importance.

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Victor A Khan, C. Stevens, T. Mafolo, C. Bonsi, J.Y. Lu, E.G. Rhoden, M. A. Wilson, M. K. Kabwe and Y. Adeyeye

TU-82-155 and `Georgia-Jet' early maturing. `Carver II'. TU-1892 and `Rojo-Blanco' late maturing sweepotato cultivars were evaluated in the field for: leaf area index (LAI), net assimilation rate, foliage crop growth rate (FCGR), storage roots crop growth rate (RCGR) and alpha a (the mean relative growth rate in dry wt to the mean relative growth rate in leaf area over a time interval) or the partitioning of assimilates. A split plot design was used and plants were sampled at 6, 8, 11 and 16 wk after transplanting. The results from study showed that LAI reached maximum development 8 and 12 wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. All cultivars irrespective to maturity groups showed a reduction in net assimilation rate 6 wk after transplanting while FCGR for early maturing cultivars gradually declined 6 wk after transplanting and varied among late maturing cultivars. `Carver II' showed increases in FCGR up to 11 wk after transplanting then rapidly declined while `Rojo-Blanco' and TU-1892 began to decline 8 and 6 wk after transplanting, respectively. RCGR showed rapid increases (100 g.m /area/week) and (150 g/m /area/week) for early and late maturing cultivars beginning 6 wk after transplanting and this increase continued until the 12th and 8 th wk after transplanting for early and late maturing cultivars, respectively. Cultivars from both maturity groups began to produce surplus assimilates (Alpha a) 6 wk after transplanting. which coincided with the rapid increases in RCGR at the same time. Thus indicating that storage root enlargement begins after the plant had accumulated a surplus of assimilates.

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Vital Hagenimana, Ronald E. Simard and Louis-P. Vézina

In vitro activity measurements indicate that storage sweetpotato roots contain high amounts of extractable amylolytic enzymes. These storage roots also have a very high starch content, a characteristic indicating that the in vitro measurements estimate potential amylolytic activity rather than actual physiological activity. We are interested in optimizing the use of endogenous amylases when processing sweetpotato roots and have undertaken a study to identify physiological parameters that control in vivo starch breakdown. Sweetpotato roots were allowed to germinate for 35 days in controlled conditions. Using a combination of in vitro activity measurements and immunochemical detection, the spatial distribution and changes in activity levels for the three major amylolytic enzymes in storage sweetpotato roots—α-amylase, β-amylase, and starch phosphorylase—have been followed. After 6 days, α-amylase protein increased in the outer starchy parenchymatous tissues surrounding the cambium layers, a result suggesting a de novo synthesis of the enzyme in cambium or laticifers layers. β-Amylase was abundant throughout the root at all times, and its high levels did not directly affect starch degradation rates. Starch phosphorylase protein level remained constant, while its extractable activity increased. Starch content decreased during sweetpotato seed root germination. However, the amount of starch that disappeared during germination was low compared with the calculated starch hydrolysis potential estimated by amylolytic activity measurements.

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Chana Phromtons and J. O. Garner Jr.

Storage roots of `Beauregard' and Centennial' were analyzed for total fatty acid composition and fatty acid composition by lipid class. The glycolipid, monagalactosyldiglycerol, may have been involved in chilling tolerance of `Beauregard' storage roots. This lipid had over 70 percent low-melting point fatty acids, mostly linoleic acid and linolenic acid. No consistent differences in the composition of phospholipids could be related to the chilling responses of the two sweetpotato cultivars.