Morphological Characterisation and Proximate Analysis of Selected Ugandan Sweetpotato (Ipomoea Batatas L.) Varieties for Food and Feed Use
Mbithe, Muinde Jane
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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. It is a smallholder crop tolerant to a wide range of edaphic and climatic conditions and grown with limited inputs. Consequently, it has been relied on as a source of calories since its vines and/or storage roots can be used for direct human consumption, as well as providing inexpensive, protein-rich fodder for animals. 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 generation (Fl) sweet potato lines derived from seeds was generated through polycross crossing design in Uganda using 24 parents. Preliminary evaluation for the suitability of dual use of the F I 's led to selection of 11 varieties which were the basis of this study. This study thus sought to morphologically characterise selected Ugandan sweet potato varieties to identify those with superior characteristics suitable for food and feed purposes. In the early screening stages, plants were raised from seeds after scarification. Germination of the seedlings was done in special trays. 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. Morphological and nutritional data were taken at 90 and 180 days, respectively. The data were subjected to analysis of variance in order to find out if significant differences exist between the varieties based on morphological and nutritional components. Cluster analysis was done using Minitab version 17 software. There were significant differences (p~O.05) in most of the vine characters, however vine internode length and vine tip pubescence were not significantly different (p2:0.05). Among the 11 varieties, there were significant differences in all the leaf and root characters analysed. Proximate analysis showed that there were significant differences (p~O.05) among the 11 varieties in all the root parameters evaluated (on a dry matter basis), and dry matter was above 90% in all 11 varieties. Among the 11 varieties, vine characteristics (based on dry matter), including ash content, dry matter, organic matter, nitrogen, in vitro organic matter digestibility, crude protein, and metabolisable energy were all significantly different (p~O.05) among the varieties. However, there were no significant differences in neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre and acid detergent lignin (p~O.05). This study established that Naspot I is a high dual variety, Rwabuganda and New Kawogo are low dual varieties and BNDI45L, Shock, Dimbuka bukulula, Kigabali, Magabari, Naspot II, Kyabafuruki and Kyebandula are forage varieties.