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Petra Wolters, Wanda Collins, and J.W. Moyer

The establishment of a sweet potato repository in Georgia that will eventually accept and distribute true seed of sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] raised the question of seed transmission of viruses, especially of sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV). Seedlings obtained from virus-infected parent plants were free of viral infection. Examination of virus distribution in virus-infected plants determined that SPFMV was present in vegetative tissue, but not in reproductive organs, indicating that the probability of SPFMV transmission in sweet potato through seed is very low.

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C.D. Kokkinos, C.A. Clark, C.E. McGregor, and D.R. LaBonte

Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) is the most devastating disease of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] globally. It is caused by the co-infection of plants with a potyvirus, sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), and a crinivirus, sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV). In this study we report the use of cDNA microarrays, containing 2765 features from sweetpotato leaf and storage root libraries, in an effort to assess the effect of this disease and its individual viral components on the gene expression profile of I. batatas cv. Beauregard. Expression analysis revealed that the number of differentially expressed genes (P < 0.05) in plants infected with SPFMV alone and SPCSV alone compared to virus-tested (VT) plants was only 3 and 14, respectively. However, these findings are in contrast with SPVD-affected plants where more than 200 genes were found to be differentially expressed. SPVD-responsive genes are involved in a variety of cellular processes including several that were identified as pathogenesis- or stress-induced.

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G. Craig Yencho, Kenneth V. Pecota, Jonathan R. Schultheis, Zvezdana-Pesic VanEsbroeck, Gerald J. Holmes, Billy E. Little, Allan C. Thornton, and Van-Den Truong

more susceptible to Rhizopus soft rot than ‘Beauregard’ but slightly more resistant than ‘Hernandez’ ( Edmunds and Holmes, 2008 ). Russet crack, caused by a strain of Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus ( Campbell et al., 1974 ), has not been

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

losses of up to 90% ( Gutierrez et al., 2003 ), and is caused by dual infection of sweetpotato plants with sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV). SPFMV is a potyvirus (Potyviridae) transmitted by

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Scovia Adikini, Settumba B. Mukasa, Robert O.M. Mwanga, and Richard W. Gibson

. Literature Cited Adikini, S. Mukasa, S.B. Mwanga, R.O.M. Gibson, R.W. 2016 Effects of Sweet potato feathery mottle virus and Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus on the yield of sweetpotato in Uganda J. Phytopathol. 164 242 254 Aritua, V. Alicai, T. Adipala

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Christopher A. Clark, Tara P. Smith, Donald M. Ferrin, and Arthur Q. Villordon

sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), provided by J.W. Moyer (North Carolina State University, Raleigh), or antisera to isolates from Louisiana of sweet potato virus G (SPVG) and sweet potato virus 2 (SPV2, synonym = ipomoea vein mosaic virus). A

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D.W. Miano, D. R. LaBonte, and C. A. 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. sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV), sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV), and sweet potato chlorotic fleck virus (SPCFV). Sweet potato caulimo-like virus (SPCaLV), sweet potato latent virus (SPLV), and cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) have also been detected though only in isolated cases. The most severe symptoms have been caused by co-infection with SPCSV and SPFMV, resulting in the synergistic Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD). Yield reductions due to virus infections have been estimated to be >90% in very severe cases. Virus detection has mainly been limited to the use of serological methods. Some plants have been observed with symptoms resembling those caused by viruses, but do not react with available antisera, indicating that the plants could be infected with viruses that have not been described, or not tested in the region. Use of other detection techniques such as PCR may result in identification of more viruses in the region. This report gives a summary of our research efforts towards detection of other viruses present in the region, and identification of resistant germplasm.

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D.W. Miano, D. R. LaBonte, and C. A. Clark

Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) is a major constraint to sweetpotato production in East Africa. The disease is a result of co-infection with sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV). 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 to 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.

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A.D. Bryan, J.R. Schultheis, Z. Pesic-VanEsbroeck, and G.C. Yencho

To determine the effects of Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), and possibly other newly described potyviruses, on sweetpotato yield and storage root appearance, virus-indexed `Beauregard' and `Hernandez' mericlones testing free of known viruses were compared with virus-infected mericlones in two separate experiments over two years. The experiments were arranged in a split-plot, randomized, complete-block design with the initial presence (VI+) or absence (VI-) of SPFMV as the whole plot factor and mericlone as the subplot factor. Plants were monitored weekly for symptoms of SPFMV and vine samples were taken for virus-indexing on Ipomoea setosa. Additional testing for selected sweetpotato viruses was done using a nitrocellulose membrane enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. SPFMV was the only virus detected in the study, using available testing methodologies. Field monitoring indicated that §100% of the VI-plants were reinfected with SPFMV by 9 weeks after planting. The presence of virus before planting reduced yields of No. 1 roots by 26% and decreased overall appearance ratings for the three `Beauregard' mericlones. In addition, VI+ planting materials resulted in increased storage root length and reduced storage root width of both cultivars leading to increased storage root length/diameter ratios, further detracting from overall storage root appearance. The results of this study demonstrate that SPFMV contributes to cultivar decline in sweetpotato. However, the interaction of SPFMV with other newly described potyviruses, which may result in synergistic negative effects on sweetpotato yield and quality, needs further research.

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A.D. Bryan, Z. Pesic-VanEsbroeck, J.R. Schultheis, K.V. Pecota, W.H. Swallow, and G.C. Yencho

Decline in sweetpotato yield and storage root quality has been attributed to the accumulation of viruses, pathogens and mutations. To document the effects of decline on yield and storage root quality, two micropropagated, virus-indexed, greenhouse produced G1 `Beauregard' meristem-tip cultured clones, B94-14 and B94-34, were compared with 1) micropropagated B94-14 and B94-34 clones propagated adventitiously up to five years in the field (G2, G3, G4, G5); and 2) nonmicropropagated, unimproved stock of `Beauregard' seed in field trials during 1997 to 2001. At least three trials were located each year in sweetpotato producing regions in North Carolina. In 2000 and 2001, two trials were monitored weekly for foliar symptoms of Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and other potyviruses, and virus-indexed for selected viruses using Ipomoea setosa and nitrocellulose enzyme linked immunosorbant assays (NCM-ELISA). Only SPFMV was detected in field samples using NCM-ELISA, but this does not rule out the presence of newly described viruses infecting sweetpotato for which tests were unavailable. Monitoring indicated that all G1 plants became infected with SPFMV by the end of the growing season, and that G2 to G5 plants were probably infected in their initial growing season. G1 plants consistently produced higher total yield, total marketable yield (TMY), U.S. No. 1 root yield and percent No. 1 yield than G2 to G5 plants. G1 plants also produced storage roots with more uniform shapes and better overall appearance than storage roots produced from G2 to G5 plants. Also, G2 to G5 storage roots tended to be longer than G1 storage roots. Rank mean yield and storage root quality measurements of each location were consistent with means averaged over locations per year and suggested a decrease in yield and storage root quality with successive seasons of adventitious propagation. Linear regression analysis used to model yield and storage root quality measurements of seed generations G1 to G5 indicated that total yield, TMY, No. 1 yield, percent No. 1 yield, shape uniformity, and overall appearance decreased gradually, and that length/diameter ratios increased gradually with generation. The rate of decline in No. 1 yield was greater for B94-34 compared to B94-14. Both viruses and mutations of adventitious sprouts arising from storage roots probably contribute to cultivar decline in sweetpotato, but further studies are needed to determine their relative importance. A simple profitability analysis for G1 vs. G2-G4 planting material conducted to facilitate better understanding of the economics of using micropropagated planting material to produce a crop in North Carolina revealed that growers have a potential net return of $2203/ha for G1 plants, $5030/ha for G2 plants, and $4394/ha for G5 plants. Thus, while G1 plants generally produce higher No. 1 yields, a greater monetary return can be achieved using G2 planting materials because of the high costs associated with producing G1 plants. Based on this analysis, the best returns are accrued when growers plant their crop using G2 and/or G3 seed.