Prevalence of Six Viruses in Potato Seed Tubers Produced in Informal Seed System in the North West Region of Cameroon
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is an important cash-food crop, which is widely grown in three of the five agro-ecological zones of Cameroon. A study was carried out to determine the prevalence of PVA, PLRV, PVM, PVS, PVX and PVY in 1175 sprouted potato seed tubers of different diameters collected from four seed stores in the North West Region of Cameroon. The study also sorts to ascertain variations in virus incidence in small, medium and large size sprouted tubers prior to planting. The DAS-ELISA method was used to test for the presence of these viruses. Results showed significant differences in the prevalence of the six viruses with PVM being the most prevalent (92%), while PLRV was least prevalent (35%) in all the four seed stores sampled. Upper-Farm store registered the highest relative prevalence (82%), with PVM detected in all the tubers while samples from Rock-Farm store showed the least relative incidence (55%) with no PLRV detected. Viruses were significantly most prevalent in small size tubers (71%) and least in large size potato tubers (63%). Our results suggest that tuber size can serve as a guide to identify healthy (virus-free) tubers. Farmers could therefore use large size potato tubers for planting.