Morphological Characterisation of Selected Ugandan Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L) Varieties for Food and Feed
Muinde, Mbithe J.
Musembi, Kivuva B.
Wambua, Kioko F.
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Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.) is a symbol in the fight for a global nutrition plan that can save millions of children and help build a healthier and more productive future. However, characterisation of sweet potato varieties with optimal morphological features suitable for both food and feed has not been done. A population of 10,000 first filial generations (F1) sweet potato lines derived from seeds was generated through polycross crossing design in Uganda using 11 parents. Preliminary evaluation for the suitability of dual use of the F1’s led to selection of 11 varieties which were the basis of this study. This study therefore sought to morphologically characterise selected Ugandan sweet potato varieties to identify those with superior characteristics suitable for food and feed purposes. Sweet potato plants were raised from seeds after scarification. A selection of seedlings possessing single leaf lobes was done, after which they entered observation yield trials (OT). This was done in order to discard those that clearly did not meet the lowest acceptable gross morphological descriptors. The data were subjected to analysis of variance in order to find out if significant differences exist between the varieties based on morphological characterization. Cluster analysis was done using Minitab version 17 software. This study enables the selection of sweet potato varieties with optimal characteristics for both food and feed use. The data generated from this study could help recommend to farmers on how dual-purpose sweet potato could be produced, in order to provide enough healthier food to millions of children in Uganda and in the world, and better feed for live-stock farmers