Differences in clomazone tolerance among sweetpotato cultivars were first observed in April 2007 after use of the herbicide for weed control in fields containing the sweetpotato breeding project at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory. Susceptible cultivars and experimental clones exhibited severe foliar chlorosis and reduced growth, whereas the most tolerant were not injured. Twelve cultivars and experimental clones were included in a greenhouse experiment to quantify the differences in clomazone tolerance. In the greenhouse, the clomazone concentration that caused moderate injury or reduction in shoot growth to the most tolerant clones was approximately 10 times the concentration that caused a similar response in the most susceptible clones. Two older cultivars, Excel and Sumor, that were developed before the registration of clomazone for use in sweetpotato were susceptible. Clomazone is an important component in sweetpotato weed management, and susceptibility is an undesirable trait that should be avoided in new sweetpotato cultivars.
Nomenclature: Clomazone; sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.