Biotech Updates

Researchers to Develop Roundworm-Resistant Sweet Potatoes

January 19, 2022

Egg masses of the guava root-knot nematode on a sweet potato root
Photo Source: LSU AgCenter

Louisiana State University (LSU) researchers and partners received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop sweet potato varieties resistant to guava root-knot nematode.

According to researchers at LSU College of Agriculture (AgCenter), guava root-knot nematode is one of the most damaging root-knot nematodes in the world. It can cause complete yield loss to important crops including tomatoes, cotton, soybeans, peppers, and sweet potatoes. It has a very high rate of reproduction and can multiply exponentially in a short span of time. The nematode was accidentally introduced to Louisiana.

The LSU AgCenter team, led by Tristan Watson, also received a sub-grant to support the research on sweet potato breeding and characterization of resistance mechanisms and associated genes, as well as the extension of research findings to regional and national stakeholders.

Read more from LSU AgCenter and Nola.

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