Geographical differentiation of Asian taro, Colacasia esculenta (L.) Schott, detected by RAPD and isozyme analyses

Toshinori Ochiai, Viet Xuan Nguyen, Makoto Tahara, Hiromichi Yoshino

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Geographical differentiation and phylogenetic relationships of Asian taros, Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, and related species were analyzed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and isozymes of 13 enzyme systems with special interest in the accessions from the Yunnan area of China, which supposedly has served the secondary center of taro diversification and dispersal into the temperate Far East Asia. The RAPD analysis was found to be better suited for detecting genetic differences within taros and among its related species. However, both RAPD and isozyme analyses estimated quite similar genetic relationships within taros and between related species. Genetic differentiation was evident in the taro accessions of Nepal, Yunnan and other Asian areas; but, phylogenetic relationships between the differentiated taro groups were not clearly determined. When taro cultivation was introduced to a new area, only a small fraction of genetic variability in heterogeneous taro populations was transferred possibly causing random differentiation among locally adapted taro populations. Some of the Yunnan and Japanese accessions were found to be direct descendants of the common triploid population. Further analysis on taros from the eastern China and Korea is necessary to clarify the Yunnan's role in taro diversification and dispersal. The significant local differentiation in Asian taros was clearly demonstrated by RAPD and isozyme analyses in this study, and the results of this study will serve as a base to establish evolutionary and genetic relationships among Asian taros.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Colacasia esculenta
  • Differentiation
  • Isozyme
  • RAPD
  • Taro
  • Yunnan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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