ARS Releases New Pest-Resistant Sweetpotato By Hank Becker
November 16, 2000
Ruddy, a new sweetpotato with excellent baking quality and flavor,
has been released by the Agricultural
Research Service. Ruddy is the first red-skinned, orange-fleshed
sweetpotato with resistance to multiple pests--insects, diseases and
nematodes--released from the ARS breeding program.
Ruddy was developed by ARS geneticist Janice R. Bohac and ARS
entomologist D. Michael Jackson at the
Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, S.C., working with researchers at the
South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, Clemson University.
Medium-orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes like Ruddy contain very high
levels of the key nutrient beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin
A. One medium-sized sweetpotato provides more than the Recommended Dietary
Allowance of vitamin A--as well as high levels of fiber, vitamin C and folic
Ruddy produces high yields and keeps well under long-term storage.
It is highly resistant to the larvae of several soil insects--the southern
potato wireworm, tobacco wireworm, banded and striped cucumber beetles,
elongate flea beetle, and the pale striped flea beetle. Ruddy is more
susceptible to white grub larvae than the insect-resistant cultivar Regal, but
is highly resistant to Fusarium wilt and to two races of the southern
Small quantities of foundation seed roots, sprouts and cuttings of
Ruddy will be available to researchers for the 2001 crop season. By then,
genetic material should be available from the
Clonal Repository at Griffin, Ga.
ARS is the chief scientific research arm of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Scientific contact: Janice R. Bohac, ARS
Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, S.C., phone (843) 556-0840, fax (843)