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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2012)

Screening sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) for drought tolerance and high β-carotene content in Mozambique

Ricardo, José

Titre : Screening sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) for drought tolerance and high β-carotene content in Mozambique

Auteur : Ricardo, José

Université de soutenance  : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : MS, Plant breeding, 2012

Résumé partiel
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas, L.) is one of the important sources of carbohydrates and economic income in Mozambique. As with most of the food crops in Mozambique, it is usually produced by small-scale farmers under dryland conditions. Despite the importance of the crop, the storage root yields are still low and it is difficult to keep planting material (vines) for the next planting season. One of the major challenges to production is drought stress. Drought stress affects sweetpotato by retarding aboveground growth, reducing total root yield, percentage of dry mass, and reducing the quality of the roots as a result of the increase in damage caused by the sweetpotato weevil (Cylas formicarius). The objective of this study was to identify sweetpotato genotypes tolerant to drought particularly amongst the orange fleshed types which can be used in breeding programmes to improve the drought tolerance of genotypes grown in Mozambique. To this end, 48 genotypes were evaluated in both field and greenhouse studies conducted at Umbeluzi Research Station (26º 03’ S, 32ºC 23’ E ; 12 masl) located about 30 km from Maputo city. The field trial was a three replicate, α-design with split-plots. Genotypes were the wholeplot treatment factor and irrigation levels were the sub-plot treatment factor. The three irrigation levels imposed were : nonstressed plants irrigated from planting to 120 DAP ; moderately stressed, plants irrigated until 60 DAP ; and severely stressed, plants irrigated until 30 DAP. In the greenhouse trial the 48 genotypes were grown in wooden boxes arranged in a two replicate, randomized complete block design. The plants were exposed to water stress from 10 DAP to the end of experiment at 60 DAP. Genotypes were significantly different for all traits, namely : survival %, vine vigour, aboveground biomass, total and commercial root yield, total fresh biomass, harvest index, β-carotene content, % dry mass, dry mass yield, incidence of sweetpotato virus disease, and incidence of weevil damage. Irrigation levels were significant for the traits : survival  %, vine vigour, aboveground biomass, total and commercial root yield, total fresh biomass, harvest index, β-carotene content, % dry mass, and dry mass yield. Irrigation levels were not significant for incidence of sweetpotato virus disease and incidence of weevil damage.

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