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Poster: Validating Heterosis in Sweetpotato Breeding

Why developing hybrid breeding populations?Sweetpotato is a highly heterozygous clone hybrid crop and with hybrid breeding populations we achieve (i) yield increase, (ii) ease to stack simple inherited traits such as quality and disease resistance, and (iii) elevated yield stability. Achieving these goals is much more effective by offspring-parent analysis and heterosis exploitation than increasing current breeding efforts. Can current polycross breeding be the best for sweetpotato breeding? Hybrid breeding is different to polycross breeding with respect to the development of heterotic groups, controlled crosses, data management and intensive offspring–parent analysis.

Poster: Progress towards the holy grain of a virus resistant sweetpotato

Sweetpotato is grown for food and feed and is increasingly becoming an important cash crop for many farmers in sub Saharan Africa. Sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) is, however, one of the major bottlenecks in the expanded use of sweetpotato because it is devastating and can cause 50 to 90% yield loss in susceptible cultivars. Available methods do not adequately control SPVD. There is a need for farmers to have cultivars with desirable traits and durable resistance to SPVD. Development of SPVD resistance is under way in Uganda, led by CIP.

Poster: Screening South African sweet potato cultivars for resistance to root-knot nematodes

Plant parasitic nematodes, especially Meloidogyne species are considered to be the most important nematodes affecting sweet potato production worldwide. In South Africa a 6% loss, South America 15% and West Africa 24% loss is attributed to Meloidogyne spp.(Sasser 1979;Kleynhans,1991). South Africa does not have adequate empirically-based data on damage caused by root-knot nematodes on most popular South African sweet potato cultivars,except for Blesbok,which was found to be highly susceptible to M. incognita (Kleynhans, 1991). Therefore, the objective of this project was to screen the most important South African sweet potato cultivars for host-status of three Meloidogyne species prevalent in South Africa.

Poster: Varietal selection in Madagascar & the use of OFSP for disaster response

Every year, many regions in Madagascar are affected by floods, droughts, frost and locusts. They destroy many crops and increase food and nutrition insecurity. As part of climate-smart agriculture, several projects, NGOs and ministries choose sweetpotato to enhance resilience. Promoting high yielding and nutrient rich crops such as orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes (OFSP) could contribute to the improvement of the health and livelihoods of vulnerable people.

Poster: Building resilient food systems for Sub-Sahara Africa through genomics assisted breeding

Conventional breeding, is still dependent to a considerable extent on subjective evaluation and empirical selection. The process can be difficult, slow, influenced by the environment, and costly for the economy, as farmers suffer crop losses. Molecular marker assisted breeding (MAS) offers great challenges, opportunities and prospects for conventional scientific breeding, needs less subjectiveness and more science, i.e. practical and accurate evaluation and effective and efficient selection. MAS allows selection for all kinds of traits to be carried out at seedling stage and thus reduce the time required before the phenotype of an individual plant is known.

Poster: Breeding and disseminating early maturing, vitamin A rich sweetpotato in Burkina Faso

In the Sudano-Sahelian zone like Burkina Faso, the rainy season is shorter with periods of drought of varying lengths, while the prevalence of acute malnutrition is over emergency thresholds. To contribute to building resilient food and nutrition systems suitable sweetpotato varieties are expected to be orange-fleshed and better fit in the agro-ecosystem with yield performance close or higher than this the farmers’ varieties as well marketable traits. However, reliable access to elite varieties must based on well organized seed systems with trained actors.

Poster: HIDAP-A unified platform for clonal crops breeders

Breeding programs involve large investments of time and money, but can pay very large returns on investment in the form of improved varieties which benefit farmers, societies and the environment. International breeding efforts involving multiple partners and targeting regionally important constraints have great potential for efficiently and rapidly achieving impact. Standardized information on the performance of progenies and selected clones across environments is necessary in order to assist breeders to efficiently make decisions about selection and variety release. Standardized methods also facilitate sharing and reporting of breeding program results with colleagues and the agencies that support us. A number of tools already exist to help with standardised breeding information management. For clonal crop breeders, the challenge has been how to improve the usability and power of existing tools, leveraging on advancements in various open source software technologies in the breeding space. The Highly Interactive Data Analysis Platform (HIDAP) has been developed to address the above challenge

Poster: Progress in breeding in Rwanda: Incorporating Feedback from Farmers

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is an important food crop in many parts of Africa, especially in Sub Saharan countries. In Rwanda, it is cultivated throughout the country and is especially important in densely populated areas of the plateau central (mid altitude), and Bugesera(low altitude) Ndirigwe, 2006; Njeruetal, 2008). Although it is considered as a “flexible crop” due to its ability to produce under adverse weather and soil conditions, most of cultivated sweetpotato varieties are white fleshed cultivars characterized by low yield and low tolerance to sweetpotato virus diseases. Usually breeding and selecting genotypes for the important production zones can take up to 8 years for a varieties to go for release. However,using innovative Accelerating Breeding Scheme (ABS) proposed by Grüneberg et al; 2009, new sweetpotato varieties have been released in three years and promoted across all agro-ecological zones in Rwanda.

Poster: From release to uptake: Emerging Stars among the Mozambican Releases

Poverty and food insecurity are widespread and major causes of chronic undernutrition in Mozambique. Almost 70 % of the population live in abject poverty and ¾ of these people reside inruralareas.Agricultureisthepredominanteconomicactivity in rural Mozambique. Sweetpotato, particularly orange-fleshed (OFSP) types has the potential to reduce malnutrition in the form of vitamin A deficiency and food insecurity. Currently, about 23% of the sweetpotato produced in Mozambique is OFSP. Nineteen drought tolerant OFSP varieties were released since 2011. Ten OFSP varieties are winning the race of wide acceptance, production and utilization among smallholder farmers. Dominant varieties from 2011 releases include Irene, Sumaia, Delvia, Namanga, Bela and Gloria, while Alisha, Victoria and Ivone lead the race from the 2016 releases. An emerging group of purple-fleshed is coming up, with Bita and Caelanprovidingthesweetnessonecangetfromsweetpotato. The general attribute among all the varieties is their ability to give high storage root yields under both drought and good rainfall seasons. They are also ‘dry’ OFSP due to their high dry mattercontent,atraitdrivingadoptioninMozambique.