, Volume 210, Issue 3, pp 393–404 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of resistance to Alternaria leaf petiole and stem blight of sweetpotato in Uganda

  • G. SseruwuEmail author
  • P. Shanahan
  • R. Melis
  • G. Ssemakula


Alternaria blight (Alternaria spp.) is an important sweetpotato disease in Uganda causing yield losses of over 50 % in susceptible genotypes. In Uganda, Alternaria bataticola and Alternaria alternata are the major species with A. bataticola the more aggressive of the two. The most effective control measure for this disease is the use of resistant genotypes. This study was conducted to determine the inheritance of resistance to Alternaria blight and the general and specific combining abilities of the available germplasm. Sixteen parental clones varying in reaction to Alternaria blight were crossed using the North Carolina II mating scheme. Due to incompatibility of some parents, two sets of compatible parents were formed. Differences among the families for Alternaria blight severity were significant while general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) mean squares were highly significant (P < 0.001) for the disease with GCA sum of squares (SS) being more predominant at 67.4 % of the treatment SS for Set 1 and the SCA SS predominant at 54.0 % of the treatment SS for Set 2. This indicated that both additive and non-additive effects are important in controlling this trait. Some parents with high, negative GCA effects produced families with undesirable SCA effects and the reverse was also true. This implies that the best parents should not be chosen on GCA alone but also on SCA of their best crosses. The wide range in the area under disease progress curve for the families indicated that it was possible to select for highly resistant genotypes.


Alternaria blight Area under disease progress curve General combining ability (GCA) Specific combining ability (SCA) Sweetpotato 



The authors extend their appreciation to the Director General, National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) for granting permission to carry out this study, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for funding the study through the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the staff of Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI) for their technical support during the study.


  1. Anginyah TJ, Narla RD, Carey EE, Njeru R (2001) Etiology, effect of soil pH and sweetpotato varietal reaction to Alternaria leaf petiole and stem blight in Kenya. Afr Crop Sci J 9:287–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arene OB, Nwankiti AO (1978) Sweetpotato diseases in Nigeria. Int J Pest Manag 24:294–305Google Scholar
  3. Christ BJ, Haynes KG (2001) Inheritance of resistance to early blight disease in a diploid potato population. Plant Breed 120:169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark CA, Holmes GJ, Ferrin DM (2009) Major fungal and bacterial diseases. In: Thottappilly G (ed) Loebenstein G. The sweetpotato Springer, Berlin, pp 81–103Google Scholar
  5. Collins WW (1977) Diallel analysis of sweetpotato for resistance to Fusarium wilt. J Am Soc Hort Sci 102:109–111Google Scholar
  6. Comstock RE, Robinson HF (1948) The components of genetic variance in populations of biparental progenies and their use in estimating the average degree of dominance. Biometrics 4:254–266CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Courtney M, Mcharo M, La Bonte D (2008) Heritability estimates for micronutrient composistion of sweetpotato storage roots. Hort Sci 43:1382–1384Google Scholar
  8. Cox DJ, Frey KJ (1984) Combining ability and the selection of parents for interspecific oat matings. Crop Sci 24:963–967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gasura E, Mashingaidze AB, Mukasa SB (2008) Genetic variability for tuber yield quality and virus disease complex in Uganda sweetpotato germplasm. Afr Crop Sci J 16:147–160Google Scholar
  10. Gibson RW (2006) Extending control of sweetpotato diseases in East Africa. Final Technical Report. University of Greenwich, Natural Resources Institute, UK. p. 33Google Scholar
  11. Hallauer AR, Miranda JB (1988) Quantitative genetics in maize breeding, 2nd edn. Iowa State University Press, AmesGoogle Scholar
  12. Hartley HO (1952) The use of range in analysis of variance. Biometrika 37:271–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jones A (1986) Sweetpotato heritability estimates and their use in breeding. HortScience 21:14–17Google Scholar
  14. Jones A, Dukes PD (1980) Heritability of sweetpotato resistance to root knot nematodes caused by Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica. J Am Soc HortiScience 105:154–156Google Scholar
  15. Jones A, Schalk JM, Dukes PD (1979) Heritability estimates for resistance in sweetpotato soil insects. J Am Soc Horti Sci 104:424–426Google Scholar
  16. Lenné, JM (1991) Diseases and pests of sweetpotato: South-east Asia, the Pacific and East Africa National Resources Institute, Bulletin 46, Great Britain, p 115Google Scholar
  17. Lopes CA, Boiteux LS (1994) Leaf spot and stem blight of sweet potato caused by Alternaria bataticola: a new record to South Amica. Plant Dis 78:1107–1109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maiero M, Ng TJ, Barksdale TH (1990) Genetic resistance to early blight in tomato breeding lines. Hortscience 25:344–346Google Scholar
  19. Mihovilovich E, Mendoza HA, Salazar LF (2000) Combining ability for resistance to sweetpotato feathery mottle virus. Hortscience 35:1319–1320Google Scholar
  20. Mwanga ROM, Odongo B, p’Obwoya CO, Gibson RW, Smit NEJM, Carey EE (2001) Release of five sweetpotato cultivars in Uganda. HortScience 36:385–386Google Scholar
  21. Mwanga ROM, Yencho GC, Moyer JW (2002) Diallel analysis of sweetpotatoes for resistance to sweetpotato virus disease. Euphytica 128:237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mwanga ROM, Odongo B, Turyamureeba G, Alajo A, Yencho GC, Gibson RW, Smit NEJM, Carey EE (2003) Release of six sweetpotato cultivars (‘NASPOT 1’ to ‘NASPOT 6’ in Uganda. HortScience 38:475–476Google Scholar
  23. Mwanga ROM, Odongo B, Niringiye C, Alajo A, Abidin PE, Kapinga R, Tumwegamire S, Lemaga B, Nsumba J, Carey EE (2007a) Release of two orange-fleshed sweetpotato cultivars, ‘SPK004’ (Kakamega) and ‘Ejumula’, in Uganda. HortScience 42:1728–1730Google Scholar
  24. Mwanga ROM, Odongo B, Niringiye C, Kapinga R, Tumwegamire S, Abidin PE, Carey EE, Lemaga B, Nsumba J, Zhang D (2007b) Sweetpotato selection releases: lessons learnt from Uganda. Afr Crop Sci J 15:11–23Google Scholar
  25. Mwanga ROM, Odongo B, Niringiye C, Alajo A, Kigozi B, Makumbi R, Lugwana E, Namakula J, Mpembe I, Kapinga R, Lemaga B, Nsumba J, Tumwegamire S, Yencho CG (2009) ‘NASPOT 7, ‘NASPOT 8’, ‘NASPOT 9 0’’, NASPOT 10 O’, and “Dimbuka-Bukulula’ Sweetpotato. HortScience 44:828–832Google Scholar
  26. Narayanin CD, Thompson AH, Slabbert MM (2010a) First report of Alternaria blight of sweet potato caused by Alternaria bataticola in South Africa. Afr Plant Prot 16:7–9Google Scholar
  27. Narayanin CD, Thompson AH, Slabbert MM (2010b) Greenhouse screening of South African sweetpotato cultivars and breeding lines for tolerance to Alternaria blight caused by Alternaria bataticola. Afr Plant Prot 16:10–13Google Scholar
  28. Niringiye CS, Ssemakula GN, Namakula J, Kigozi CB, Alajo A, Mpembe I, Mwanga ROM (2014a) Evaluation of promising orange fleshed sweetpotato genotypes in different agro-ecological zones of Uganda. Int J Agric Crop Sci 7(15):1537–1546Google Scholar
  29. Niringiye CS, Ssemakula GN, Namakula J, Kigozi CB, Alajo A, Mpembe I, Mwanga ROM (2014b) Evaluation of promising sweetpotato clones in selected agro-ecological zones of Uganda. Time J Agric Vet Sci 2(3):81–88Google Scholar
  30. Nyadanu D, Akromah R, Adomako B, Kwoseh C, Lowor ST, Dzahini-Obiatey H, Akrofi AY, Assuah MK (2012) Inheritance and general combining ability studies of detached pod, leaf disc and natural field resistance to Phytophthora palmivora and Phytophthora megakarya in cacao (Theobroma cacao L.). Euphytica 188(2):253–264. doi: 10.1007/s10681-012-0717-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Okada Y, Nishiguchi M, Sait A, Kimura T, Mori M, Hanada K, Sakai J, Matsuda Y, Murata T (2002) Inheritance and stability of the virus resistant gene in progeny of transgenic sweetpotato. Plant Breed 121:249–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Osiru M, Adipala E, Olanya OM, Lemaga B, Kapinga R (2007a) Occurrence and distribution of Alternaria leaf petiole and stem blight in Uganda. Plant Pathol 6:112–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Osiru M, Olanya OM, Adipala E, Lamega B, Kapinga R, Namanda S, El-Bedewy R (2007b) Relationships of Alternaria leaf petiole and stem blight disease to yield of sweetpotato cultivars. Afr Potato Asso Conf Proc. Alexandria, Egypt, vol 7, pp 141–151Google Scholar
  34. Osiru M, Adipala E, Olanya OM, Kelly P, Lemaga B, Kapinga R (2008) Leaf petiole and stem blight disease of sweet potato caused by Alternaria bataticola in Uganda. Plant Pathology 7:118–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Osiru MO, Olanya OM, Adipala E, Lemaga B, Kapinga R (2009a) Stability of sweetpotato cultivars to Alternaria leaf petiole and stem blight disease. Phytopathology 157:172–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Osiru MO, Olanya OM, Adipala E, Kapinga R, Lemaga B (2009b) Yield stability analysis of Ipomoea batatas L. cultivars in diverse environments. Aust J Crop Sci 3:213–220Google Scholar
  37. Patterson HD, Williams ER (1976) A new class of resolvable incomplete block designs. Biometrika 63:83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Payne RW, Harding SA, Murray DA, Soutar DM, Baird DB, Glaser AI, Whelham SJ, Gilmour AR, Thompson R, Webstar R (2011) The guide to Genstat release 14, Part 2: Statisitcs. VSN International, Hemel HempsteadGoogle Scholar
  39. SAS Institute Inc (2010) SAS/STAT® 9.22. User’s Guide, CaryGoogle Scholar
  40. Shaner G, Finney E (1977) The effect of nitrogen fertilization on the expression of slow-mildewing resistance in knox wheat. Phytopathol 67:1051–1056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simon PW, Strandberg JO (1998) Diallel analysis of resistance in carrots to Alternaria leaf blight. J Am Soc Hort Sci 123:412–415Google Scholar
  42. Skoglund LG, Smit NEJM (1994) Major diseases and pests of sweetpotato in Eastern Africa. International Sweetpotato Centre (CIP), Lima, p 67Google Scholar
  43. Thompson AH, Narayanin CD, Smith MF, Slabbert MM (2011) A disease survey of Fusarium wilt and Alternaria blight on sweetpotato in South Africa. Crop Prot 30(11):1409–1413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. van Bruggen AHC (1984) Sweetpotato stem blight caused by Alternaria sp: a new disease in Ethiopia. Neth J Plant Protec 90:155–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Whiteside JO (1966) A revised list of plant diseases in Rhodesia. Kirkia 5:87–196Google Scholar
  46. Wilson JE, Pole FS, Smit NEJM, Taufatofua P (1989) Sweet potato breeding. Agro-Facts. University of the South Pacific Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture (IRETA). ApiaGoogle Scholar
  47. Woudenberg JHC, Truter M, Groenewald JZ, Crous PW (2014) Large-spored Alternaria pathogens in section Porri disentangled. Stud Mycol 79:1–47CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Accessed 8 Sep 2009. verified 9 July 2012
  49. Yada B, Tukamuhabwa P, Alajo A, Mwanga ROM (2011) Field evaluation of Ugandan sweetpotato germplasm for yield, dry matter and disease resistant. S Afr J Plant Soil 28(2):142–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Sseruwu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Shanahan
    • 1
  • R. Melis
    • 1
  • G. Ssemakula
    • 3
  1. 1.African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI)College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgRepublic of South Africa
  2. 2.Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI)MukonoUganda
  3. 3.National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)KampalaUganda

Personalised recommendations