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Genetically controlled branching corms of taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Ivancic A., Quéro Garcia J., Lebot V.. 2004. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, 32 : p. 167-177.

DOI: 10.1080/01140671.2004.9514293

Branching in taro (Colocasia esculenta) corms is a complex, undesired, and rare trait, which is expressed because of proliferation of lateral buds. The evaluation of the Vanuatu national taro germplasm collection showed that the frequency of this trait was significantly high (9.51% of the accessions were characterised by genetically controlled branching). Such a high frequency can be considered as an indication of close relationships among the majority of the Vanuatu cultivars. The expression of branching depends on the genetic structure, specific environmental conditions, interactions between the genetic structure and the environment, and interactions between various developmental stages of a particular genotype and the environment. The genetic control is complex and involves the interaction of at least two loci. The present study suggests that the existing genetic diversity of taro in Vanuatu (and probably also in other geographically isolated Pacific areas) is insufficient for a successful longterm breeding programme and should include introductions from other countries, especially from the centres of diversity.

Mots-clés : colocasia esculenta; ramification; cormus; bourgeon; génotype; intéraction génotype environnement; variation génétique; germplasm; vanuatu

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