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Latest News

INEA ExtenDED to end 2016

world Congress on roots and tuber crops postponeD

It is now 18-22 January 2016. website for details.




*INEA expands in Africa
Southeast & South Asiaa
*Indonesia's collection
Central America & Caribbean

*Anton visits Cuba - Part II
*Virus indexing
*Drought testing


2014 2015

Annual Reports

Library News  

Library News

September 2015  - Issue No.#5  

Welcome to the Edible Aroids Newsletter

Vincent Lebot Technical Coordinator writes ....

We need take the results from the lab into the field. During the last three decades, molecular markers have been used widely to characterise taro germplasm collections; they have been used to rationalise the collections and to facilitate breeders’ access to genetically distant parents.

In many countries, the genetic base of taro is known to be narrow compared to the allelic diversity found in India and Asia, for example. Isozymes and ribosomal DNA have been used to study this diversity in taro. RAPDs have generally agreed with isozyme groupings and AFLPs have revealed greater diversity in Asia than in the Pacific.

Test Image
Perhaps we should get out of the lab more, into the field, and start taro breeding!
Stratification of collections using AFLPs has shown poor correlation between markers and morphotypes, but they have been useful in detecting duplicates. AFLPs and DArTs have also confirmed that the genetic diversity seen in farmers’ fields is a result of clonal introductions, selection of somatic mutations and volunteers resulting from sexual recombination. And SSRs have confirmed the conclusions of most other markers - isozymes, RAPDs, AFLPs and DArTs.

Networking - Drought Versus Starch and Protein

One of the goals of European aid is to promote cooperation and collaboration between partners. By facilitating networking and an integrated approach, enduring partnerships are created that are likely to facilitate a better understanding of crop adaptability to new conditions, climate change among others.

Update on Virus Indexing

Tests for Colocasia bobone disease virus are continuing with refinements of the detection methods. Sequencing data is being analysed to provide greater precision for molecular detection. The full report is here.
READ MORE (Summary)

INEA Promoted - Meeting on the FAO ITPGRFA, Samoa

Three members of the INEA network, Tolo Iosefa, Valerie Saena Tuia and Grahame Jackson, attended the Regional Consultation on Strengthening Agriculture & Forestry Research and Extension Linkages for Sustainable Food Security and Trade in Samoa, 24-28 August 2015. INEA is a 5-year project funded in part by the EU, and implemented by SPC with technical assistance from CIRAD.

INEA Network Expands - Answering the Challenge of TLB

Three people have written recently requesting INEA’s help in managing TLB epidemics in Africa. Tolerant taro from the Samoa breeding programme has been sent to West Africa, but there may be need for further distributions considering the complexity of getting the plants to growers.

Indonesia Duplicates its Taro Collection

Thanks to Made Prana, we hear that the taro national taro has been duplicated and is becoming a focus for students, farmers and also eco-tourists. This is what Made has to say. The taro collection is held by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Research Centre for Biotechnology, at Bogor.

Eddoes Versus Dasheens

INEA has begun a discussion on the "eddoe issue"; this is because many countries trade in eddoes, sending them to the US, Europe and other far away places from Central America and the Caribbean in particular. Eddoes have a relatively small central corm which is usually not the part that is traded, it is the small “blind” cormels that bud off from them, which store well.

Anton Ivancic visits Cuba - Part II

In the December Newsletter we included the first part of Anton’s visit to INIVIT, Cuba, to help with taro breeding. Here he tells us about the other excellent programmes. INIVIT has a relatively large collection of edible aroids; there are 104 taro accessions and 96 Xanthosoma. The collections are being evaluated, distributed to farmers, and used to breed new varieties.

Partners' Progress

Cost Rica
The 50 SPC varieties and six local accessions have been harvested and replanted for the fourth time. Selected varieties were given to farmers to evaluate and have now been harvested. Blocks containing 100 plants of each selected have been planted at the research station. F1 hybrids and their parents have been harvested at 5 months, and morphological characteristics recorded. Five to 10 plants of each F1 selection have been replanted.

Extension granted!

SPC Valerie Tuia and the CIRAD Technical Coordinator Vincent Lebot have been hard at work making a case for an extension of the project as all the funds budgeted are unlikely to be spent by the end of this year when INEA is scheduled to end. Today, 8 September 2015, SPC heard that the EU has extended the contract to 72 months; that means a one year extension. One of the compelling reasons provided by SPC was that the work has been affected by natural disasters, the cyclones in the Philippines and Vanuatu, in particular. This was accepted.

INEA is led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji, and the Centre de Cooporation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD), France and Vanuatu. The project is made possible by a generous EU grant of €3 million.