Insect Resistance in Sweetpotato Plant Introduction Accessions

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Fifty-five sweetpotato cultivars, experimental breeding clones, and plant introduction (PI) accessions were evaluated in 17 field experiments at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (Charleston, SC; 12 evaluations, 1997‐2010), the Clemson University, Edisto Research and Education Center (Blackville, SC; two evaluations, 1998‐1999), and the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center (Homestead, FL; three evaluations, 2005‐2007). These experiments included two insect-susceptible control entries (‘Beauregard’ and ‘SC1149‐19’) and three insect-resistant control cultivars (‘Regal,’ ‘Ruddy,’ and ‘Sumor’). At each location, genotypes differed significantly in the percentage of uninjured roots WDS (wireworm, Diabrotica, Systena) index, the percentage of roots damaged by the sweetpotato weevil (Cylas formicarius (F.)), the percentage of roots damaged by the sweetpotato flea beetle (Chaetocnema confinis Crotch), and the percentage of roots damaged by white grub larvae (including Plectris aliena Chapin and Phyllophaga spp.). ‘SC1149‐19’ had a significantly lower percentage of uninjured roots, a significantly higher WDS index rating, and significantly higher percentages of infestation by flea beetles, grubs, and sweetpotato weevils than most other sweetpotato genotypes in this study. In addition, 43 of 55 genotypes had significantly less overall insect damage than ‘Beauregard,’ one of the leading commercial orange-fleshed cultivars in the United States. Ten genotypes had significantly less insect injury than ‘Picadito,’ a commercial boniato-type sweetpotato grown extensively in southern Florida. Many of these sweetpotato genotypes have high levels of resistance to soil insect pests, and they may be useful as sources of insect resistance for use in sweetpotato breeding programs.

Keywords: Cylas formicarius; Diabrotica; Ipomoea; plant resistance; white grub

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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