Link to home

Early viral infection on sweet potatoes under field conditions

Alexandre Furtado Silveira Mello: Embrapa Vegetables

<div>Sweet potato is a major crop in many countries and its cultivation usually requires low inputs to produce reasonable yields. The great majority of Brazilian growers use vine cuttings from previous crops to establish areas. This practice is very common on the northeast region of the country where the weather enables the production all year long. The lack of fallow with no crop rotation and use of propagative material harvested in open field increases the spread and accumulation of pathogens in the field, leading to a gradual reduction on yield and root quality. On the South region of Brazil the winter season is very severe not enabling sweet potato cultivation during this period which potentially decreases the spread of pathogens. In Brazil, very little is known about the prevalence and impact of different viruses on sweet potato. The goal of this work is to assess if a single crop cultivation would be sufficient to enable the detection of viruses by ELISA and grafting on the indicator <em>Ipomoea setosa. </em>Virus free plants were planted in Canoinhas, SC during the summer 2016-17 under field conditions and after five months, stems from sweet potato plants were harvested and grafted on the indicator plant. Thirty days after grafting plants presented symptoms and at least one clone was positive by DOT-ELISA. This finding indicates the potential impact of virus transmission on sweet potatoes even on regions with less conducive environment for viruses and its vectors.</div>