Shiferaw Et Al


Shiferaw et al

Journal of Agricultural Sciences,
 Vol. 6 (2),
069-078, February

ISSN: 2276-7770  

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 011516011




Evaluation of exotic and locally adapted
sweetpotato cultivars to major viruses in Ethiopia


Shiferaw Mekonen1*, Berhanu
Bekele 2, TesfayeTadesseand Fekadu Gurmu1


1Hawassa Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 06, Hawassa,

2Ambo Plant Protection
Research Center, P.O. Box 37, Ambo, Ethiopia



Sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) is currently threatening
sweetpotato production in Ethiopia than ever, with more viruses unidentified
earlier being detected in more recent years. Due to the increased importance of
virus diseases, management option using host plant resistance was planned using
local cultivars and exotic genotypes for three consecutive years (2011-2013) at
Hawassa, Ethiopia.  A total of 89 sweetpotato introductions from
international sources, and clones of 26 locally adapted cultivars were used for
this study. The materials were evaluated at three stages of screening under
natural infection, where Hawassa is selected as hotspot area for sweetpotato
viruses based on observations made in the previous years. Genotypes were
planted in a single row observation plot in preliminary screening, and
randomized complete block design (RCBD) in advanced screening. Symptomatology
was used to evaluate the reaction of genotypes in the field and supplemented by
three times serological testing (NCM-ELISA) during each experiment using a
battery of 10 antibodies against the common viruses known to infect sweet
potato. The results of laboratory analysis have ascertained the occurrence of
six new viruses not reported to exist in Ethiopia before, viz.  C-6 virus,
Sweetpotato caulimo-like virus (SPCaLV), Sweetpotato chlorotic flecks virus
(SPCFV), Sweetpotato mild speckling virus (SPMSV), Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV)
and Sweetpotato latent virus (SwPLV). All of the newly identified viruses were
detected on exotic sweet potatoes obtained from international sources,
suggesting the possibility of their introductions along with the planting
materials and hence the need of establishing strong quarantine inspection.
Among 25 genotypes evaluated in advanced screening, 14 genotypes (13 from
exotic sources and one local) were apparently virus free. These materials need
be tested at multi-locations for further use in improvement programs. 
Highly significant difference (p< 0.01) was observed for virus disease
severity and storage root yield among sweetpotato genotypes indicating the
possibility of selection for resistant /tolerant/ clones against sweetpotato
virus disease (SPVD). Use of vines from infected fields of sweetpotato resulted
in the decline in yield and stand establishment across years. Within virus
susceptible genotypes, 47.8% – 92.6% yield reduction was witnessed in the third
year of the experimental period. Similarly out of planting materials used from
infected plots, 75-85 % of the vines showed poor establishment when compared to
vines taken from virus free plots. This signifies the importance of
periodically renewing planting materials from virus free sources.


Key words: Host plant
resistance, screening,   serological test, virus free planting
material, stand establishment.

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