A different approach to sweet potato breeding Dec 26, 2017 18:57:47 GMT -5
Post by gilbert on Dec 26, 2017 18:57:47 GMT -5
Here are my thoughts on a different approach to "sweet potato" breeding for cold climates.
There are several hardy wild species that grow in the USA. Some of them are edible, but it does not sound like they are excellent. It would be nice if they could be crossed with the sweet potato. However, they are all diploid, with thirty chromosomes. Sweet potatoes are hexaploid, with 90 chromosomes. This means that any such breeding project would be difficult.
What if instead, we focused on diploid species? I've done some research and the following are promising; two edible tropicals, and three sort of edible hardy species. They might cross; I can't find anybody having tried it.
Would this be easier than working with sweet potatoes themselves? Could we simply create a parallel, similar species? Are there other edible diploid species that could work?
Ipomoea costata, bush yam: Edible, tastes like sweet potato, Australian, can only take a light frost; grows wild; 30 chromosomes, self compatibility unknown
Ipomoea lacunosa, whitestar potato: edible (not sure how edible; native peoples used it on a small scale), Eastern and Central USA, cold-hardy Chromosome number 30, self compatible
Ipomoea pandurata, manroot: sort of edible (people disagree on how much, may be somewhat toxic, laxative, bitter, etc.) big tap root, hardy, Eastern and Central USA, Chromosome number 30 self incompatible
Ipomoea aquatica Water spinach: aquatic; invasive; no significant tuberous roots, edible leaves, tropical, Chromosome number 30; self compatible
Ipomoea leptophylla, bush morning glory: edible (but maybe not very, young roots only,) large tap root, drought tolerant, native to Colorado and other western states, Chromosome number 30, self compatibility unknown.