To enhance the competitive position of taro (Colocasia esculenta) in rainfed cropping systems of Southeast Asia and Oceania.
The genetic improvement of yield, quality, resistance/tolerance to pests and diseases, and adaptability to specific environmental conditions.
The specific objectives of this four years project are :
* To characterize approximately 1,700 taro accessions (cultivated and wild genotypes, breeding material) and analyze its genetic diversity using morpho-agronomic traits (international standardized descriptors) and molecular markers, using both isozymes and AFLPs.
* To make available a wider range of germplasm to participating countries as part of a regional network of in vitro genotypes exchange. 170 selected and indexed genotypes will be distributed to broaden the genetic bases of national breeding programmes.
* To identify the genetic sources of resistance/tolerance to DMV, ABVC viruses and taro leaf blight and to incorporate them into the existing gene pools.
* To assess the genetic diversity existing among Phytophthora colocasiae isolates originating from participating countries using isozymes and RAPDs markers.
* To study the physical and chemical characteristics of starch from 170 selected genotypes.
* To identify and overcome barriers limiting progress in taro breeding and develop adequate breeding strategies based on data obtained from genetic, molecular and agronomical studies.
* To implement the Taro Network for South-East Asia and Oceania (TANSAO) and coordinate evaluation and breeding efforts, to enhance cooperation between participating countries and to establish an efficient means of sharing information.
* Formation of a core sample consisting of carefully selected cultivars that will be identified and safely distributed to collaborating countries. More efficient management of germplasm resulting in identification of duplicates, increased availability of germplasm and reduced costs of operation. Molecular and biochemical markers applied to the germplasm and base populations, thus facilitating breeding progress.
* Establishment of a collection of Phytophthora colocasiae isolates and a diversity study of this pathogen completed.
* Training of local scientists in the application of biotechnological tools to taro breeding. Multi-locational trials of selected genotypes carried out in participating countries.
* Germplasm characterization using biomolecular markers.
* Diseases resistance of cultivars and improvement through targeted crosses.
* In vitro safe exchange and agronomical evaluation of cultivars and hybrids.
* Phytophthora colocasiae genetic diversity.
* Physicochemical characteristics of starches from selected cultivars.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
6709 PD Wageningen