|Lawrence, Janet - CARDI, JAMAICA|
Submitted to: Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Sweetpotatos in the USA and Caribbean are damaged by several insect pests that reduce yield and quality. Losses often exceed 50% in countries where low-input agricultural systems predominate. These countries have a need for integrated pest management techniques that require minimal resources. Host plant resistance is an attractive pest management technique that meets these low-input requirements. Advanced sweetpotato germplasm with moderate to high levels of resistance to the WDS complex, flea beetles, grubs and sweetpotato weevils have been developed by the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL). This USDA program utilizes a polycross nursery for the production of sweetpotato seeds. First-year seedlings are screened for nematode and disease resistance in the greenhouse and for insects in the field. Roots from first-year seedlings showing acceptable agronomic characteristics and insect resistance are carried forward in the breeding program to intermediate and then to advanced testing in the field. To assist in the identification of resistance factors, laboratory bioassays and controlled field tests are employed. Although the primary objective of the USVL breeding program is to produce copper-skin, orange-flesh varieties for the US market, a smaller breeding effort is maintained for dry-flesh germplasm for such value-added products as sweetpotato chips and fries. Primarily dry-flesh sweetpotato varieties are utilized by the Caribbean countries. We have identified several dry-fleshed sweetpotato varieties from the USDA breeding program with multiple pest resistance. Advanced breeding lines from this program are currently being evaluated in the USA and Jamaica.