Author Topic: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots  (Read 130 times)

S.Simonsen

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Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« on: 2020-05-29, 10:27:25 PM »
I am currently starting work on other species of Ipomoea that have some history of use for edible tubers (though preparation is normally more involved than for sweet potato). I currently have I. cairica growing wild in my paddocks, along with I. abrupta (an Australian subtropical native, unflowered but apparently needs to climb to induce budding), I. costata (a desert native, which started out OK but has since died off, unflowered), I. pandurata (flowering well second year, nice looking roots), I. macrorhiza (first year, unflowered, but growing well), and a couple I leptophylla (very small and not terribly happy after two years). I am also trying to track down the native I. polpha (which is likely to be a pain to grow) and I. calobra (grown on a small scale commercially on the other end of the continent) and a couple of other species from overseas. There is another small edible species from my area I am tracking down but I forget the name. I. lacunosa looks interesting but maybe too weedy to handle well.

This is all very preliminary and speculative work, but I have already had some apparent success crossing I. cairica pollen onto a potted I. pandurata. The seeds were a little distorted, as were the cotyledons and now the true leaves. Roots are swelling nicely. An Ipomoea expert thought they looked like macrorhiza but I was pretty sure I identified the seed parent properly (though a nearby macrorhiza might have reached across and gotten tangled up in the pandurata). How likely is self pollination in the seed parent? I only noticed seeds being formed where I managed to hand pollinate, with the other spots I missed dropping off almost immediately.

Is anyone else in this group interested in other species of Ipomoea? I might do some crossing of species with batatas but the diploid/tetraploid gap might be a problem.

whwoz

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Re: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« Reply #1 on: 2020-05-30, 02:47:22 AM »
An interesting mix of species you have there.  Would be interested in getting some from you when the frost season here is over.

S.Simonsen

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Re: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« Reply #2 on: 2020-05-30, 06:10:08 AM »
Whwoz- sure thing. I'm not sure if any other than cairica can be reproduced from cuttings but hopefully I will have some more seed spare in the future to spare. Keep in mind the original species are somewhat toxic and need proper preparation, so hybrids probably would be as well until selected further. I am actually more interested in breeding a variety with strong chemical defences that can hold up to our pest pressures, ideally one that I can use for starch extraction as a way to detoxify them.

Nicollas

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S.Simonsen

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Re: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« Reply #4 on: 2020-05-30, 11:05:42 PM »
Thanks for the link. I didnt know about that FB group so have signed up as well. I'm definitely more interested in doing my hybridising work at the diploid level, then maybe bumping up to polyploid to see if I can get a boost to tuber size.

Chance

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Re: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« Reply #5 on: 2020-06-01, 02:50:28 PM »
Shane, very cool, looking forward to updates.  I. Calobra sounds interesting.  I would like to try several of these species as well.  Iím in humid subtropical midatlantic US.  I tried sowing I costata but I think it was still too cool and they rotted.  A friend is sending me macrorhiza roots.  Macrorhiza does self pollinate.  My experience with pandurata is that it was easier to harvest than I thought but I wasnít able to make it edible after cooking in a few changes of water then roasting, it still tasted acrid.  It also has a very sticky component that was hard to get off the baking sheet.  There is another relative of it called shumardiana which may be a natural hybrid with leptophylla.  Macrorhiza is also in this group.  The documented history of food use is more supported for leptophylla and macrorhiza.  Macrorhiza can even be eaten raw. 
« Last Edit: 2020-06-01, 04:06:25 PM by Chance »

S.Simonsen

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Re: Ipomoea species breeding for edible roots
« Reply #6 on: 2020-06-01, 03:37:26 PM »
Sounds like my most likely event was a macrorhiza climbed where I thought the pandurata was and flowered much sooner than I expected was possible and was somehow self pollinated. Good to hear it has decent edibility. A tetraploid macrorhiza might be enough to get a better crop started as well and I will be tracking down oryzalin to do the work in the future once I have more plant stock.