Breeding Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam.) for Drought

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Date
2013
Authors
Benjamin M K
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Benjamin M K
Abstract
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) is an important food crop in East Africa including Kenya. The crop incurs high yield losses in production due to biotic (insect pests and diseases) and abiotic (drought, and heat) constraints. Among abiotic constraints, drought is the most important. Prolonged periods of drought in arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya have led to reduced quantity and quality of sweetpotato storage roots and in severe cases caused total crop failure. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine sweetpotato production system constraints and farmers' coping strategies; 2) evaluate sweetpotato clones for yield performance and drought tolerance; 3) analyse genotype x environment interaction and stability for storage root yield of selected clones, 4) determine mechanisms of drought tolerance in sweetpotato, and 5) determine combining ability and heterosis for yield and drought tolerance traits under managed drought stress conditions.
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