The Pacific yam (Dioscorea nummularia Lam.), an under-exploited tuber crop from Melanesia

Lebot Vincent, Malapa Roger, Abraham Kuttolamadathil. 2017. The Pacific yam (Dioscorea nummularia Lam.), an under-exploited tuber crop from Melanesia. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 64 (1) : pp. 217-235.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q2, Sujet : AGRONOMY / Quartile : Q3, Sujet : PLANT SCIENCES

Abstract : This study aims to explore the potential of Dioscorea nummularia Lam. and to gather information as a prelude to its improvement by plant breeding. After a taxonomic clarification and a review of the botanical data, its geographical areas of origin and distribution are determined. A germplasm survey conducted on nine islands of Vanuatu enabled the collection of 110 accessions corresponding to 84 cultivars. These were grouped into: (1) wild forms under domestication, (2) annual types, (3) perennial-type cultivars of D. nummularia and (4) natural interspecific hybrids with D. alata L. Within each group, remarkable morphological variation exists for stem spininess, leaf shape, emerging leaf colour, tuber shape and tuber flesh colour. Selected accessions examined for ploidy had chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 3x = 60 to 2n = 6x = 120. Chloroplast counts conducted on stomatal guard cells confirmed the variation in ploidy levels. Eight different male cultivars were studied for pollen fertility, but <5% of the pollen grains appeared to be fertile when stained with acetocarmine. However, profuse flowering and synchrony favour pollination and result in fruit set. All accessions are resistant to anthracnose. Viruses were detected but are morphologically not discernible, with no incidence on yield. Physicochemical analyses of tubers from 16 accessions revealed that D. nummularia and interspecific hybrids have high percentages of dry matter (mean of 33.11%) and starch (82.81%). The Pacific yam could be improved through conventional hybridisation or used for interspecific crosses with related economically important species. Recommendations are made for further research. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Dioscorea nummularia, Igname, Tubercule, légume, Composition chimique, Amidon, Biologie, Phylogénie, Taxonomie, Morphologie végétale, Organe reproducteur végétal, Distribution géographique, Biogéographie, Provenance, Amélioration des plantes, Variété, Plante sauvage, Plante de culture, Hybridation interspécifique, Germplasm, Résistance aux maladies, Enquête

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Vanuatu, Philippines, Indonésie

Mots-clés libres : Dioscorea, Ignames, Mélanésie, Amidon

Classification Agris : F30 - Plant genetics and breeding
F70 - Plant taxonomy and geography
F60 - Plant physiology and biochemistry
Q04 - Food composition

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Lebot Vincent, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR AGAP (VUT)
  • Malapa Roger, VARTC (VUT)
  • Abraham Kuttolamadathil, CTCRI (IND)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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