Virus Free is Sweet

  • 23 October 2017
  • Author: Cheryl
  • Number of views: 8682
Virus Free is Sweet

More than 20 people, about half of them commercial growers, attended a recent sweetpotato growers meeting in Hilo organized by CTAHR’s Sharon Motomura-Wages (Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences) and Kiersten Akahoshi (Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences).

The workshop featured Christopher Clark and Arthur Villordon from Louisiana State University, who discussed their program in Louisiana to produce virus-tested sweetpotato planting materials for commercial growers. Hawai‘i County administrator Susan Miyasaka talked about recent research results that demonstrated it was possible to nearly double yield by using virus-tested ‘Okinawan’ planting materials rather than those from a commercial source.

Other speakers included Marisa Wall (USDA) and Ishakh Pulakkatu-Thodi (PEPS). Virus-tested, tissue-cultured ‘Okinawan’ plants were distributed to growers who attended the meeting.

And participants visited area farms like this one, where Motomura-Wages and Assistant Professor James Keach examined tubers.