ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 90 Number 1
Research Papers
Morphological and nutritional diversity of Indian swamp taro (Colocasia esculenta var. stolonifera L. Schott). (11)
Surajit Mitra
Swamp taro is gaining importance as a non conventional starchy vegetable in some parts of Eastern India and Bangladesh during monsoon months when traditional vegetables become scarce in the market. Although, a large number of indigenous germplasms of swamp taro are grown in India, detailed information on all aspects of the morphological, biometrical, nutritional and anti-nutritional status of the crop is very meager. Furthermore, no recognized variety has so far been developed in India. Therefore, this study was undertaken to identify the potential types of swamp taro. Forty-four diverse landraces of swamp taro were evaluated in a randomized block design with three replications at the Horticultural Research Station, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mondouri, Nadia, West Bengal, India as a part of the programme for characterization of germplasms under the All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops. The germplasms of swamp taro showed marked variation in morphological characters, stolon yield (8.2-34.7 t/ha), its attributes like stolon length (0.65-1.45 m), stolon girth (0.95-2.55 cm), number of stolon /plant (10-23), and nutritional parameters like dry matter (11.2-16.4), starch (3.2-8.1 %), total sugar (0.63-2.68 %), protein (0.49-1.17 %) and vitamin C (15.34-61.72 mg/100 g) content of the stolons. There was considerable variability in mineral composition of the stolons also among different germplasms of swamp taro and they appeared to be good sources of potassium, calcium, iron, copper and manganese among the members of edible aroids. Among forty-four landraces of Indian swamp taro, ten accessions namely BCST-1, BCST-3, BCST-5, BCST-13, BCST-14, BCST-21, BCST-29, BCST-36, BCST-42, BCST-44 performed better and were considered as the most promising genotypes, having higher yield, low disease incidence and better nutritional quality with slight or no acridity. These deserve greater attention for a further breeding programme to identify commercial cultivars.
Keywords: Indian land races, swamp taro, morphology, nutritional quality