Potential for Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) Single Crosses to Improve Ethanol Production
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) is an important agroenergy source for producing ethanol, which is mainly made from renewable sources through the conversion of mono- and disaccharides (sugarcane, beet, corn, wheat, sweet potato, cassava, etc.). The aim of this research was to obtain new sweet potato genotypes with high potential for ethanol production from simple crosses to be used as commercial varieties. For this, crosses were made from selected parents with high root yield and dry matter content. A hundred single crosses were evaluated in two environments using an experimental lattice design with three replicates. It was observed that the use of single crosses is an effective strategy for exploiting sweet potato variability. Of the 73 hybrids evaluated, eight exceeded the best cultivars used as controls. The crosses BDI#57, BDI#73, BDI#52 and the cultivar Duda, with ethanol yields of 9.45, 10.37, 10.85 and 11.24 m3∙h-1, respectively, were the best in root production; in addition, they had a low incidence of soil insect attack, so they represent a good alternative for the cultivation of sweet potato intended for the ethanol-producing industry.