A tropical American vine, sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is in the botanical family Convolvulaceae along with common plants, such as bindweed and morning glory. In developing countries, sweetpotato is ranked fifth in economic value production, sixth in dry matter production, seventh in energy production, ninth in protein production, and it has tremendous flexibility of utilization as food, feed and industrial products (Gregory, 1992). Sweetpotatoes should not be confused with potato (Solanum tuberosum) which belongs to Solanaceae and are entirely unrelated, although their uses can be similar. Orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes are often known as yams, especially in the southern United States, but they are quite different from true yams (Dioscorea sp.) in growth habit and use. Furthermore, unlike Dioscorea yams, which is native to Africa and Asia, the greens of sweetpotatoes are edible and provide an important source of food in Africa (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) as well as in East Asia (Scott et al., 2000a, b).
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