National Agriculture Research Institute

National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI)




Taro (cocoyam)



Identification of QTL/genes associated with resistance to Taro Leaf Blight (TLB) and yield quality in Colocasia esculenta in biparental mapping population

Taro leaf blight (TLB) epidemics can progress quickly and lead to devastating consequences — reducing yields by up to 50% and leaf yield losses of up to 95%. With a goal to increase food security and alleviate malnutrition in Nigeria and the region, this project seeks to identify QTL/genes and facilitate development of nutritious taro varieties with enhanced TLB resistance and yield qualities in a biparental mapping population.

Leveraging the National Root Crops Research Institute’s existing taro program and breeding knowledge, this study will be the first to follow a single marker approach to dissect the genetic basis of TLB resistance and corm quality in a biparental mapping population. The research will be the foreground for efficient and effective cocoyam breeding that will take into account women’s trait preferences — recognizing that women contribute over 60% of the labor force in food production and processing — with additional priorities in optimizing nutrition and engaging young farmers in the taro value chain.

Research priorities include:

  • Determine genetic variation for TLB in the population
  • Determine the genetic architecture of TLB and identify beneficial alleles using single marker analysis
  • Identify superior genotypes of cocoyam that have high TLB resistance and yield quality

Project members

Lydia Jiwuba

Principal Investigator

Chiedozie Egesi

Co-principal investigator and technical advisor

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