Harriet Muyinza1, Philip C. Stevenson2 Milton Otema3, Herbert Talwana4, and Robert O.M. Mwanga5.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,National Agricultural Research Laboratories, P. O BOX 7065, Kampala, Uganda  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.2Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TB; 3 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., National Crops Resources Research Institute, Namulonge, Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda; 4 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Makere University, PO Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda; 5 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., International Potato Center, Naguru Hill, Katalima Road, Plot 106, Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda.

Sweet potato is a staple food in East Africa, thus strategies to reduce losses to pests and diseases of this crop provide opportunities to enhance food security and improve livelihoods for some of the poorest people in Africa.  Some local varieties such as  New Kawogo, are reported by farmers in Uganda to be resistant to the sweet potato weevil (Cylas puncticollis and C. brunneus), the most important constraints to production across Africa.  Previous work has validated this claim through field and laboratory experiments by reducing, oviposition, feeding and emergence of the F1 generationa.  Furthermore, we showed that hexadecyl and octadecyl esters of coumaric and caffeic acid occur at higher concentrations and with greater structural diversity in the root latex of New Kawogo than in the susceptible variety Tanzania and when presented to the larvae of C. puncticollis in artificial diets, these compounds increased mortalitya.  While this explains in part their role in resistance our laboratory studies showed that the oviposition and feeding by adults was also reduced on New Kawogo.  Results presented here show that oviposition and feeding were reduced significantly when presented with roots of the susceptible variety Tanzania that had been surface treated with hexadecylcoumaric and caffeic acids, compared to the untreated roots of the same variety.  The occurrence of these esters on the surface of New Kawogo in greater concentrations than on Tanzania explains more fully how these compounds mediate the resistance of New Kawogo and provide a quantifiable and manageable resistance that could be tagged for breeding purposes. *Stevenson et al., 2009. Pure & Appl. Chem. 81, 141-151.

Keywords; Antixenosis, Cylas formicarius, hexadecylesters

About the National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL)

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  • Research Programmes:
  • Core Values of NARL

Background:

Formerly a rubber estate, the institute was acquired in 1934 from K. Borup, a Danish farmer. It became the headquarters of research division of the Department of Agriculture in 1937 with a mandate to conduct research on coffee, tea, cotton and native food crops. The 630 hectare station located13km north of Kampala became the hub for scientific investigations for African agriculture to make it more productive and economically viable.

The institute has undergone several transformations both in naming and core research mandates and activities over the years. Currently, it is one of the six National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs established by the NAR Act 2005) under the dispensation of the National Agricultural Research organization.

Our Mandate

Conducting research and providing services on soils, agro-meteorology and Environment; bananas; biosystems and agricultural engineering; food science and agribusiness; and biodiversity and biotechnology

Our Goal:  Agricultural productivity and household incomes increased through use of improved technologies and practices

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  Research Programmes:

Implementation of activities is organized in five research programmes and an information and documentation unit supported by an administration unit:

  • Soils, Agro-meteorology and Environment Research Programme,
  • Banana Research Programme,
  • Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Research Programme,
  • Food Biosciences and Agribusiness Research Programme,
  • Biodiversity and Biotechnology Programmes.

Hosted institutions:

  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  •   International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  •   Korean Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA)
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Core Values of NARL:

  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Market responsiveness
  • Client oriented
  • Demand driven
  • Sustainability
  • Integrity
  • Gender sensitivity
  • Transparency
  • Environment consciousness

Institute expected outputs

NARL’s activities are premised on the following outputs:

  • Tools, recommendations and technologies for improved soil and water management, sustainable land use and resilience to climate change
  • Improved banana varieties and other technologies for enhancing banana productivity and utilization
  • Technologies and practices that enhance conservation and utilization of genetic resources
  • Processes, systems and products that enhance market value of agricultural commodities
  • Biosystems and agricultural engineering products that improve agricultural production efficiency
  • Impact at specified sites created through multi-stakeholder innovation platforms
  • Information systems that support agricultural research and development
  • World class infrastructure and management systems that strengthen generation and promotion of outputs
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Vision

To be a centre of excellence generating and promoting appropriate agricultural technologies

Mission

To generate and promote agricultural technologies and improve productivity, value addition, income and food security

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