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Mutations and crop improvement. III. Ipomoea batatas Poir.

Mutations and crop improvement. III. Ipomoea batatas Poir.

Hereditas 53(1/2): 77-89

Production capacity and quality are the chief objectives in breeding programs of sweet potato. Starch manufacturers would prefer varieties high in starch and low in sugar. Table quality, on the other hand, as stressed by Miller (1935), would require a high sucrose content. Carotene content is of great importance. Further improvement of sweet potato varieties will benefit from the control of flowering ability and subsequent possibility of hybridization. (F1 heterosis and gene recombination) and selection work of suitable parent strains and hybrid segregates. Wild hexaploid Ipomoea trifida possesses genes for resistance to nematodes and black rot which if necessary may be transferred to sweet potato. Vegetative mutations in high-productive varieties having good quality could no doubt be induced advantageously or be selected for in natural materials. X, [gamma], or neutron irradiation of cuttings and roots could easily be carried out on a large scale; in the case of sparsely ionizing radiations by using doses around 4000 r for leaf stalks treated according to method (1) in the report of Nishiyama et al. (1959), 1o 20,000 - 40,000 r if roots are irradiated as outlined by Hernandez et al. (1964). In fact, vegetative mutants (sports), high in yield, are commonly distributed in practice and their number may certainly increase through utilization of irradiation methods or, possibly, of chemical mutagens.

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