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Not-so-sweet potato resists pests, disease

Date:
June 21, 2011
Source:
Clemson University
Summary:
Agricultural scientists in the U.S. have developed a new variety of not-so-sweet potato, called Liberty. Known as a boniato, or tropical sweet potato, Liberty has a dark red skin and light yellow, dry flesh with a bland flavor. Boniato potatoes originated in the tropical Americas and are grown in south Florida in the United States. They can be served fried, mashed or in soup.

Researchers have developed a new variety of not-so-sweet potato, called Liberty.
Credit: Image courtesy of Clemson University

Scientists from Clemson University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service have developed a new variety of not-so-sweet potato, called Liberty.

Known as a boniato, or tropical sweet potato, Liberty has a dark red skin and light yellow, dry flesh with a bland flavor. Boniato potatoes originated in the tropical Americas and are grown in south Florida in the United States. They can be served fried, mashed or in soup.

"We developed Liberty because other boniato varieties are susceptible to damage by nematodes (microscopic parasitic worms)," said John Mueller, plant pathologist and director of Clemson's Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

Mueller worked with a team of scientists from the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston led by entomologist Mike Jackson. Other USDA Agricultural Research Service team members included agronomist Howard Harrison, plant pathologist Judy Thies and plant geneticist Janice Bohac.

The Liberty potato is highly resistant to nematodes and moderately resistant to insect pests and fusarium wilt, a fungal disease. Liberty potatoes have good baking quality, store well and do not darken after peeling as most boniato potatoes do. Home gardeners, as well as commercial producers and organic growers, can grow the Liberty potato.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clemson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Clemson University. "Not-so-sweet potato resists pests, disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621151454.htm>.
Clemson University. (2011, June 21). Not-so-sweet potato resists pests, disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621151454.htm
Clemson University. "Not-so-sweet potato resists pests, disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621151454.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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