Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Cocoyam (Colocasia esculentum and Xanthosoma sagittifolium) (L) Schott germplasm from Nigeria using Simple Sequence Repeat-SSR marker (Published)
Colocasia esculentum (L) Schott and Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L) Schott, commonly called cocoyam is one of the orphan crops with great potentials, but neglected by researchers and growers despite their high demands by consumers in recent times. Consequently, some of the local varieties have become almost extinct; this calls for the need to revive interest in these crops. This study was undertaken to characterize six cocoyam accessions collected from Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, Nigeria, using 13 qualitative and 6 quantitative Agro-morphological descriptors as well as simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers. The crops were laid out in a field using the Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in 4 replications. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) test showed that the 6 accessions were not significantly different (P>0.05) in crop span, crop height, number of leaves, leaf width and leaf length. This indicates that these features cannot be used to distinguish between Colocasia and Xanthosoma spp. The qualitative traits were more useful in distinguishing between the two cocoyam species. Three of the primers used for molecular studies successfully amplified a few of the cocoyam accessions, indicating their suitability for genetic diversity studies in Colocasia esculenta and Xanthosoma spp.