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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC AND BIOLOGICALLY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF VEGETABLE CROP DISEASES

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Field evaluation of yield effects on the U.S.A. heirloom sweet potato cultivars infected by sweet potato leaf curl virus

Authors
item Ling, Kai-Shu
item Jackson, David
item Harrison, Howard
item Simmons, Alvin
item Pesic-Valesbroeck, Zvezdana -

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 18, 2010
Publication Date: June 2, 2010
Citation: Ling, K., Jackson, D.M., Harrison Jr, H.F., Simmons, A.M., Pesic-Valesbroeck, Z. 2010. Field evaluation of yield effects on the U.S.A. heirloom sweet potato cultivars infected by sweet potato leaf curl virus. Crop Protection. 29:757-765.

Interpretive Summary: Sweetpotato is one of the most important global food crops, especially in developing countries. During the years 2004-2008, the United States produced an average of 768,382 metric tons of sweetpotatoes on 37,418 hectares per year. In recent years, Sweet potato leaf curl virus (SPLCV), a whitefly transmitted virus disease, increased rapidly in South Carolina and caused some significant yield losses. In this study, using virus-tested materials derived from the meristem tissue culture, we demonstrated in field experiments that SPLCV infection reduced the yields by 10-80% depending on the genotype in 27 heirloom sweetpotato lines relative to the yields of non-infected plants. However, such yield improvements were diminished in the second year in our field trials due to a rapid re-infection of SPLCV by sweetpotato whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci). These results demonstrate the important of using certified, virus-tested seed roots or cuttings. The rapid re-infection of the virus-tested sweetpotato plants by SPLCV suggests that management of the whitefly population should be a critical element in control of this important virus.

Technical Abstract: The incidence of Sweet potato leaf curl virus (SPLCV), a Begomovirus, infection of sweetpotato Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. (Convolvulaceae) in South Carolina, USA has increased rapidly in recent years. This is likely due to the use of infected propagating materials and the increasing population of its vector, the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius). In this study, we demonstrated in field experiments that SPLCV infection reduced the yields of most heirloom sweetpotato lines relative to the yields of non-infected plants. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology specific to several common sweetpotato viruses was used to determine the virus infection status in 69 selected accessions of heirloom sweetpotato lines. Meristem tip culture technology was used to regenerate virus-free plants from these materials. To ensure the virus-free status, each mericlone was evaluated using real-time PCR and graft bio-indexing on an indicator plant, Ipomoea setosa. Mericlones of 27 cultivars were determined to be free from the tested viruses. These 27 virus-tested plants were included in a field test to determine the effect of SPLCV infection on yield. Yields of virus-tested plants in different sweetpotato genotypes ranged in 10-80% greater than the yield of SPLCV-infected plants. However, these advantages were diminished in the second year in our field trials due to a rapid re-infection of SPLCV by sweetpotato whiteflies. These results demonstrate the important of using certified, virus-tested seed roots or cuttings. The rapid re-infection of the virus-tested sweetpotato plants by SPLCV observed in these studies suggests that management of the whitefly population should be a critical element in control of this important virus.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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