Galvao, Aline Carolina (2019) Sweet Potato: A "Cluster" Approach to Improve the Crop Sustainability in Temperate Zones. [Ph.D. thesis]
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Abstract (italian or english)
Many cultures have the sweet potato how a staple food and that make it is the seventh of the most cultivated crops in the world. Its large capacity of adaptation is due to genetic and phenotypic diversity. The storage roots are the most consumption edible part but are possible to use the other parts of the plant too. Flesh can be orange, purple white, cream, or yellow, and the amount of vitamin and minerals can vary on the colour. In Europe, sweet potato is a niche crop mainly grown in the Mediterranean areas, with predominant white fleshed genotypes.
Generally, its associated with subsistence agriculture is very diffuse in developing countries and according to the FAO, in 2013, the consumption per capita per year is estimated to be 14.6 kg in Africa, 9.3 kg in Asia, 5.3 kg in Oceania, 2.9 kg in America and < 0.5 kg in Europe. Although in Europe its consumption is still small, it has grown exponentially, in the period from 2010 to 2014 the amount imported doubled.
These genotypes empirically cultivated are inherently inferior regarding nutritional quality, and nowadays, there is limited information about new genetics materials. The biochemical and nutraceutical characterisation of them is the first step to finding the accesses with interesting traits to temperate zones.
This Convolvulaceae has as a feature a wide phenotypic diversity due to its autohexaploidia (2n = 6x = 90), and to obtain genotypes with elevated levels of heterosis is necessary to select parents with high genetic variability. The morphological e biochemical characterisation is the less expensive methods to evaluated a dissimilarity among the genotypes.
The sweet potato is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A, and antioxidants. The extracts from sweet potato exhibit strong radical scavenging and has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antihypertensive activities, and the pharmacological potential of the species is already described in the literature. Moreover, we assign the intrinsic value of each genotype of the DAFNAE genetic bank then classify each one according to its aptitudes biochemical and nutritional. The results suggest that some genotypes have substantial amounts of starch, sucrose or glucose, may become a new source of these products. The elevated levels of vitamins and minerals indicate some accesses to be used for biofortification of foods, such as cakes, soups or biscuits, to increase their nutritional aspects.
A characteristic of the horticulture is the intensification of the crop grow, and the sector has to need to reinvent each time to quick. So, to improve a tropical crop in temperate condition, so many factors need to be evaluated.
The sweet potato has high productive potential and can reach 40 t/ha. However, the European yield does not attain 20 ton/ha. The production of cuttings and the fertilisation are the first steps to advance the crop science of sweet potato because they have a straight influence on the homogeneity growth and yield.
In this context, this present research has the aim to hone the growth and competitiveness of the sweet potato in the temperate climate zone.
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