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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of USDA Sweetpotato Breeding Lines As a Potential Tactic for Managing Sweetpotato Pests in the Caribbean and the Usa

Authors
item Lawrence, J. - CARDI, JAMAICA
item Jackson, David
item Bohac, Janice

Submitted to: Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Several soil pests significantly limit production of sweetpotatoes in the Caribbean and the USA. Management of these pests traditionally has been done with pesticides and/or cultural practices. However, the use of insect-resistant cultivars offers an alternative management approach to pesticides. During the 1997-98 growing season, over 20 sweetpotato breeding lines from the U. S. Vegetable Laboratory (USDA) and local Jamaican varieties were evaluated for performance and insect resistance in field trials in Jamaica and the USA. Variability in yields and insect resistance were observed among lines. The high level of resistance displayed by some breeding lines indicates their potential as a management option. The integration of these resistant breeding lines into the current IPM program in Jamaica is being pursued.

Technical Abstract: Several soil pests significantly limit production of sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (Lam) in the Caribbean and the USA. Traditionally, management of these pests has been with synthetic pesticides and/or cultural practices. With the global thrust to seek effective, low-input environmentally benign methods of managing pests, the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USDA), Charleston, SC initiated a recurrent selection breeding program to develop insect-resistant sweetpotato lines that can serve as an effective alternative to synthetic pesticides. During the past growing season, over 20 USDA multiple-pest-resistant sweetpotato breeding lines and local Jamaican varieties were evaluated for performance and insect resistance in replicated field trials in Jamaica and the USA. Parameters measured included yield (fresh weight/root numbers) and insect damage. In the USA, roots were scored for insect damage from Wireworm-Diabrotica-Systena (WDS), flea beetles, and white grubs. In Jamaica, roots were scored for pest damage from sweetpotato leaf beetle larvae, sweetpotato weevils, WDS, and flea beetles. Variability in yields and resistance to the pests of concern were observed among lines. Multiple pest resistance was also demonstrated. The high level of resistance displayed by some breeding lines indicates their potential as a management option. The integration of these resistant breeding lines into the current IPM program is envisioned.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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