African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6669

Full Length Research Paper

Diagnostics of viruses infecting local farmer preferred sweetpotato cultivars in Kenya

T. M. Kathurima1,4, B. B. Bett3, D. W. Miano3 and D. J. Kim1,2*
1International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, C/O ILRI, P. O. Box 30709-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 2Biosciences East and Central Africa Hub, C/O ILRI, P. O. Box 30709-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 3Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, P. O. Box 57811-00200, Nairobi, Kenya. 4Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P. O. Box 62000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 July 2011
  •  Published: 18 August 2011


Sweetpotato is an important starchy tuberous root crop grown in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with about 75% of African sweetpotato production occurring in East Africa. Its production is however, constrained by viral diseases particularly sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV), sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV), sweet potato chlorotic fleck virus (SPCFV), and sweet potato caulimo-like virus (SPCaLV), prevalent in Kenya. This work involved the designing of primers and their validation by screening of various sweetpotato materials from various sources including field and tissue culture material. The sensitivity of the diagnostic technique was evaluated and compared with the ELISA-based techniques. It was apparent that the tool was more sensitive in diagnosing the sweetpotato viruses than the available ELISA-based tool. This tool is recommended for the virus indexing for the plant materials farmers’ fields, plant quarantine and laboratories involved in sweetpotato research within the region.


Key words: Sweet potato viruses, RT-PCR, diagnostics.