New close wild-relative of sweet potato is discovered

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 09:30

As part of an ongoing monographic study of the genus Ipomoea (morning glories) that contains the domesticated sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) Robert Scotland and John Wood from the Department of Plant Sciences have recently described 18 new species of morning glory from Bolivia with one species, Ipomoea lactifera, identified as a close wild-relative of sweet potato. This newly discovered relative may have implications for the conservation of the sweet potato crop as a genetic resource. 

Further details of the project can be found here: and the publication can be accessed here:


N.B. Image: Ipomoea lactifera Wood & Scotland a new endemic species of Ipomoea from Bolivia characteristic of humid forest on the Andean foothills. Photo credit to Robert Scotland.

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