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Breeding for improved tuber quality in greater yam (Dioscorea alata L.)

Ehounou A.E., Maledon E., Cormier F., Cornet D., Nudol E., Kouakou A.M., Chaïr H., Arnau G.. 2018. Cali : CIAT, 1 p.. Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC). 18, 2018-10-22/2018-10-25, Cali (Colombie).

Yams constitute an important staple food in tropical and subtropical regions. Dioscorea alata is one of the major cultivated species with a wide geographical distribution. It is currently second to D. rotundata in terms of production volume. Several traits of D. alata make it particularly valuable for economic production. These include high yield potential, ease of propagation, early growth vigor for weed suppression, and long storability of tubers. However, D. alata shows lower quality of pounded yam, the most consumer-preferred quality trait of yams in West Africa. The quality of yam tubers depends on many internal characters that determine their culinary and nutritional value (such as dry matter content, proteins, sugars, texture, flesh color) and some external characteristics (e.g. tuber size and shape). Conventional breeding for quality traits (boiled and pounded yam) is essentially carried out based on phenotypic observations and its difficult, costly and lengthy process. The partnership and studies that have been undertaken to improve the breeding efficacy for tuber quality in D.alata will be presented.

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