Greenhouse and Field Evaluation of Selected Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) LAM) Accessions for Drought Tolerance in South Africa


Sweetpotato is a major staple food in the world. It is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin C and protein. The maximum production potential of the crop is being hampered by severe drought which ravages most parts of Africa. The main aim of this study therefore was to screen accessions of sweetpotato for drought tolerance in a quick screening method, followed by field screening with a view to identify accessions that can perform well under water stress conditions. Fifty sweetpotato accessions consisting of cultivars and breeding lines collected from the ARC-VOPI gene bank were planted for drought screening in the glass house for six weeks during which water was withheld to induce stress. Observations were made on number of dead plants and days to wilting point. The results were analyzed and 12 best performing accessions were selected for field trials. The field trial was carried out in Lwamondo, Limpopo province, a drought prone area in South Africa, under rain-fed conditions. The best performing accessions were Zapallo, Tacna, Ejumula, 2004-9-2 and Ndou.

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Omotobora, B. , Adebola, P. , Modise, D. , Laurie, S. and Gerrano, A. (2014) Greenhouse and Field Evaluation of Selected Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) LAM) Accessions for Drought Tolerance in South Africa. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 3328-3339. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.521348.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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