Florencio A. Saladaga and Teme P. Hernandez
True seeds of sweet potato were collected from a sample of genotypes entered in the Master Polycross Nursery at Louisiana State University, grown into seedlings and vegetatively propagated. Frequency distribution and heritability estimates were prepared for yield, weight loss in storage and sprouting in field bed. In general, for all the maternal parents, the distribution of the individual progeny seedlings was skewed to the lower yielding classes. Heritability estimate for yield was low, but with a magnitude of 0.241 which indicates the possibility of selecting (by culling) for yield at a relatively early stage of the screening process. While seedling genotypes within each maternal parent differed (i.e., some had no appreciable weight loss), the genetic variance was negative, thus heritability was negative or zero. Sprouting in field bed also had low genetic variance and, subsequently, lo, heritability. These low heritability values indicate that either the population under study has already attained its potential limit for these two traits or that these traits are largely influenced by the environment.
Keywords: Sweet potato. Plant breeding. Genetic variance. Heritability. Selection. Polycross. Weight loss. Sprout production. Field bed. Louisiana.
Annals of Tropical Research 3 (1):(1981)