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Paul G. Thompson, John C. Schneider and Boyett Graves

Narrow-sense heritabilities (h2) for sweetpotato weevil (Cylas formicarius elegantulus) resistance were estimated in 2 breeding populations. Population A included clones from US programs with previously reported moderate levels of weevil resistance. Population B included clones of US origin plusplant introductions from 14 countries. Parents and progenies were included in field evaluations with no wild weevils present. Weevils were cultured and applied to each plant. Population A was evaluated for 2 years and population B for 1. The GXE estimate for population A was also used for population B. Heritabilities were estimated by parent offspring regression and variance component analysis. Average h2 for percentage noninjured roots were 0.35 and 0.47 for population A and B, respectively. Intermating highest performing genotypes from both populations should increase h2 by increasing frequencies of resistance genes. A moderate rate of increase in resistance levels should result from selecting and intermating resistant genotypes.

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Paul G. Thompson, Boyett Graves and John C. Schneider

A breeding program to develop improved sweetpotato genotypes with increased sweetpotato weevil resistance was started in 1990. Germplasm, including plant introductions, cultivars, and breeding lines with reported insect resistance, was field tested for injury levels by applying low numbers of weevils. Low levels of resistance were found and `Regal' was among the highest. Top performing lines were selected and intermated. After 2 selection cycles the most highly resistant selection produced 89% uninjured roots compared to 28% in `Regal'. Severity of injury score was 16 times lower in the most resistant selection (0.15) compared to `Regal' (2.40).

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Paul G. Thompson, J. C. Schneider, Boyett Graves and B. K. Kim

Twenty-four half-sib sweetpotato families were field tested for freedom from injury by sweetpotato weevil and other soil inhabiting, injurious insects (WDS). Three pairs of adult male and female weevils were applied to the crown of each plant at the beginning of storage root enlargement. Naturally occurring numbers of WDS were high enough for considerable injury from those insects. WDS injury free roots ranged from 19% in Centennial, the suceptible control, to 57% in Regal, the resistant control. The highest family mean for percent non-injured by WDS was 55%. Weevil injury free roots ranged from 67% in Centennial to 90% in Regal with 3 families producing mean weevil non-injured roots of 89%. The genetic correlation between weevil injury free and WDS injury free roots was 0.69 ± 0.28. That estimate is preliminary and based on data from one environment. Evaluations will be repeated in 1994 for estimates of GXE to derive genetic correlation estimates with less environmental interactions.

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Paul G. Thompson, John C. Schneider and Boyett Graves

One hundred plant introductions (PIs) were evaluated for sweetpotato-weevil resistance in experiment station field trials for 2 years in Beaumont, Miss. Weevil infestation was accomplished by applying adult weevils in year 1 and weevil infested roots in year 2. The percentage of uninjured roots ranged from 38% in `Centennial', the susceptible control, to 93% in PI538288. Severity of root and stem injury were measured in year 2. Stem injury ratings on a scale of 0, for no injury, to 4, for severe injury, ranged from 1.2 in PI564113 to 3.7 in `Beauregard'. Root injury ratings on a scale of 0 to 5 ranged from 0.1 in PI538288 to 4.2 in `Beauregard' (susceptible control). Thirty-five PIs had lower root injury values than `Regal' (resistant control), and the percentage of uninjured roots was higher in 45 PIs than in `Regal'. These results suggest that genes are available in PIs for increased levels of weevil resistance in sweetpotato.

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Arthur Villordon*, Craig Roussel and Tad Hardy

The Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) conducts sweetpotato weevil [SPW, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius)] monitoring in support of the statewide SPW quarantine program. The monitoring activity primarily involves a statewide pheromone-based trapping process that generates trap data for sweetpotato beds and production fields. We conducted GIS analysis of SPW trap data, collected over three years, to assess the potential use of GIS tools in managing and interpreting the data. The LDAF has already generated shapefiles for all beds and fields in each of three years, facilitating GIS analysis. However, trap data was manually collected and statewide data was compiled and stored in spreadsheet files. Trap data was mapped to specific beds and fields in each of three years, generating layers that clearly showed fields and parishes that reported high trap counts. GIS analysis showed potential SPW “hotspots” in each year, indicating that certain beds or fields are more prone to SPW infestation than others. This information can be useful in planning SPW management strategies by growers and other stakeholders. The GIS database also provides the foundation for the development of descriptive and predictive models of SPW occurence in Louisiana. Compiling the SPW trap data into a GIS database allows the data to be distributed over the Internet, facilitating real-time access by stakeholders.

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

Methodology was developed for the rapid quantitative and qualitative screening of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] germplasm for the concentration of the major sweetpotato weevil oviposition stimulant, boehmeryl acetate, and its alcohol, boehmerol. The major surface components were rapidly quantified, using a minimum of plant material. Boehmeryl acetate, present in methylene chloride root extracts, did not degrade when held under normal laboratory conditions for 45 days. Boehmeryl acetate and boehmerol were found only in the outer 1 to 1.2 mm of periderm and the distribution of the compounds appeared to be relatively uniform over the surface of the root.

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Paul G. Thompson, Boyett Graves and John C. Schneider

The sweetpotato weevil is the most-destructive worldwide pest of sweetpotato and only low to moderate levels of resistance to the insect are available in acceptable cultivars. No sources of high resistance levels have been identified; consequently, there is a need to identify additional sources of resistance genes to develop high resistance levels. To begin a search for sources of resistance, plant introductions were evaluated for injury levels. In 1993, 100 plant introductions were evaluated for sweetpotato weevil injury and 62 of the least injured were tested again in 1994. In 1995, 36 of the least injured in 1993 and 1994, plus 24 additional PIs were evaluated. Control cultivars included `Regal', moderately resistant; `Jewel', intermediate; and `Beauregard' and `Centennial', susceptible. Measurements of injury were percentage of roots injured, and, stem and root injury scores based on a 0–5 scale, with 0 being no injury. First year results indicated that a low level of resistance to stem injury is available in the PIs tested. Stem injury was more severe in the following year and no differences were found. Lower weevil populations will be required to screen for low levels of stem injury resistance. Percentage injured roots and root injury scores were lower over the 3 years for five PIs than for `Regal'.

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Paul G. Thompson, John C. Schneider and Boyett Graves

One hundred one accessions from the U.S. germplasm collection were evaluated in field trials for sweetpotato weevil resistance. Weevils were collected from 4 separate Mississippi locations during the winter of 1992-93. They were increased in culture and 6 adult females and 6 males were applied to the crown of each plant percentage of uninjured storage roots ranged from 53 to 99. The most highly resistant control, Regal, had 79% and the most susceptible, Centennial, 60% uninjured roots. Uninjured root numbers ranged from 0.03 to 3.82 per plant. Regal had 2.1 and Centennial 1.88 uninjured roots per plant. Seventy-five accessions produced higher percentages of uninjured roots than Regal. However, 48 of those accessions produced less than one root per plant and previous results indicated that estimates with low storage root numbers lack precision. Fourteen accessions produced as many or more roots than Regal and also higher percentages and numbers of uninjured roots.

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Ki-Cheol Son, Ray F. Severson, Richard F. Arrendale and Stanley J. Kays

Methodology was developed for the extraction of surface components of sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] storage roots. Surface components of storage roots were quantitatively extracted with methylene chloride using 8-minute ultrasonication. After removal of the solvent, the extract was treated with 3 Tri Sil-Z:1 trimethylsilylimidazol (v/v) to convert components with hydroxyl moieties to silyl ethers and then separated on a SE-54 fused silica capillary column. Distinctly different gas chromatography profiles were found between lines displaying moderate levels of resistance (`Resisto', `Regal', `Jewel') to the sweetpotato weevil [Cylas formicarius elgantulus (summers)] and weevil-susceptible lines (`Centennial', SC 1149-19, W-115), indicating a possible role of surface components in insect response. Chromatographic fractionation techniques were developed for separation of major components or groups of components. The results will allow subsequent bioassaying for the presence of an ovipositional stimulant(s) and other weevil behavior-modulating compounds and their chemical characterization.