Morphological variability in 17 wild elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) collections from southwest India

Research paper by Shirly Raichal Anil, E. A. Siril, S. Suhara Beevy

Indexed on: 15 Sep '11Published on: 15 Sep '11Published in: Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution


Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson is a tuberous herb occurring in the wild and cultivated state. Vegetative morphological characters were studied at full foliage stage in 17 accessions of A. paeoniifolius which include two cultivars, 15 wild accessions and a related species, A. dubius Blume. The first principal component (PC) accounted for 42.32% of phenotypic variance followed by second for another 18.38%. Major traits that accounted for more variability in both PC1 and PC2 include offset shape, cormel weight per corm, corm fresh weight, petiole surface pattern and canopy spread. The unweighted pair- group method with mathematical averaging (UPGMA) clustering method revealed three principal clusters which separated all the accessions between Euclidean distances of 0.3–1.6. Both cluster analysis and principal co-ordinate analysis revealed T10, a morphotype of A. paeoniifolius var. campanulatus (Decne.) Sivad. cultivated in Tamil Nadu and P19 accession of A. paeoniifolius var. paeoniifolius from Karnataka as morphologically distinct, which needs further validation on the basis of floral characters or molecular markers and G3 from Gujarat as an immediate ancestor of cultivated elephant foot yam. The genotypic (GCV) and phenotypic (PCV) coefficients of variation, broad sense heritability (h2B) and genetic advance (GA) as a percent of the mean assessed for 18 accessions revealed high heritability estimates. A highly significant (P < 0.01) correlation coefficient between circumference of petiole base and corm diameter, corm height, corm weight, east west spread and north south spread suggests that circumference of petiole and canopy spread are indicators to corm weight and size.