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Control Strategies for Sweet Potato Virus Disease in Africa

Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD), caused by dual infection with the whitefly-borne Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV) and the aphid-borne Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), is the most serious disease of sweet potato in Africa. SPVD has been known there since at least the 1940s, although it took several decades to elucidate its aetiology. It occurs throughout Africa and is particularly prevalent in the Great Lakes region. Production of sweet potato is largely by resource-poor farmers, growing mostly local landraces and for home consumption and so control strategies need to be appropriate to these circumstances. Most high yielding and/or early maturing landraces in Uganda are susceptible to SPVD and most resistant landraces are low-yielding, forcing farmers to compromise between the conflicting requirements of large and/or early yields, and food security. Accordingly, two strategies were tested to avoid the disadvantages associated with such compromises. These were deploying high-yielding SPVD-resistant cultivars and phytosanitation practices to enable susceptible landraces to be grown successfully. In on-farm trials in Masaka and Rakai Districts of Uganda, some SPVD-resistant cultivars bred at Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Research Station (NAARI), in Wakiso District, out-yielded local landraces. Other trials at NAARI and at nearby farms showed that roguing diseased cuttings within 1 month of planting and isolation from diseased crops, even by as little as 15 m, can considerably decrease spread of SPVD to susceptible cultivars. This indicates that phytosanitation can protect desirable susceptible cultivars, even if adopted only locally. A dual approach of deploying both resistant varieties and phytosanitation provides farmers with a valuable increase in their choice of control strategies for SPVD.

Authors: Valentine Aritua, Emmanuel Byamukana, Isaac Mpembe, James Kayongo, Richard Gibson, Valentine Aritua, Emmanuel Byamukana, Isaac Mpembe, James Kayongo, Richard Gibson

Contributors: Segundo Fuentes, Segundo Fuentes

Subjects: Sweet potato viruses


Publisher: Elsevier

Publication Date: 2004

Keywords: Africa, Sweet potato virus disease, Sweetpotato viruses


Gibson, R.W., Aritua, V., Byamukama, E., Mpembe, I. and Kayongo, J., 2004. Control strategies for sweet potato virus disease in Africa. Virus research, 100(1), pp.115-122. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2003.12.023