C.V. Ilodibia C.U. Arubalueze, S. N. Udearoh, B.I. Okafor and C. Agbanusi


Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is an economically important crop but under-utilized especially in south eastern Nigeria where the populace are unaware of the values of its other part (leaf and stem). They grow sweet potatoes, wait for the storage roots to mature, harvest and discard the stem and leaves or serve them as animal feed with few farmers consuming the harvested tops (leaves). Morphological and nutritional studies were carried out on various parts of the two varieties of Ipomoea batatas (white fleshed TIS 87/0087 and orange fleshed UMUSPO/3) to determine their morphological and nutritional characteristics using standard techniques. Analysis of variance was employed for data analysis. Result revealed that the two varieties had similar qualitative morphological features but showed variation in their length, breadth, colour and girth. Vine colour of white fleshed was green while that of orange fleshed was purple. The result of the proximate analysis revealed that the nutrients were present in all the parts of the two varieties investigated but in varied proportions. Protein, fat and ash were highest in the leaves; moisture and carbohydrate were highest in the tubers while crude fiber was highest in the stem of the two varieties when compared to other parts. Data obtained indicated that these parts of the two varieties contained appreciable amount of nutrients which could be included in diets to supplement our daily nutrient needs and animal feed. Apart from the tuber eaten by our people, other parts of the plant should also be used as food. Overall data could be a viable tool for sweet potato breeding as an improvement in sweet potato production. Morphological characteristics observed were similar and consistent indicating that the two varieties are phyllogenetically related.  The data could also be used to enhance proper taxonomic characterization and identification of the species I.  batatas.


Morphological, nutritional, characteristics, Ipomoea batatas, taxonomy.

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