Morpho-agronomic characterization of sweet potato germplasm

<div><p>ABSTRACT Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) spreads mainly by vegetative propagation, and therefore this vegetable may have duplicate accessions in germplasm banks. The authors aimed to characterize morpho-agronomically the sweet potato germplasm from the Active Germplasm Bank (AGB) of Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS).The experiment was carried out at the Research Farm “Campus Rural da UFS”. The experimental design was a randomized block design, testing 73 sweet potato accessions with two replicates and four plants per plot. Morpho-agronomic traits of aboveground part and roots were evaluated. We observed that the leaf lobe type, the number of lobes per leaf, shape of central lobe, and general leaf shape were traits which provided the most variability among the accessions. For damage caused by soil insects, 52 accessions showed tolerance. The accessions presented a range from 0.33 to 2.71 t/ha for dry mass of aboveground part and from 1.20 to 10.89 t/ha for the total productivity of the roots. The high phenotypic variability of this crop shows good prospect for breeding programs.</p></div>