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Andean Roots and tubers

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In addition to the seven species of cultivated potato (Solanum spp.), and sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) conserved in the CIP-genebank, there are nine other genera (from nine different families) of lesser-known Andean Root and Tuber Crops (ARTCs) domesticated throughout the Andes (Table 1).  These ARTCs play an important role in nutrition, health, and food security for thousands of smallholder farmer families in the Andean highlands (Table 2). Although none of the ARTCs are Annex 1 crops of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), 1,173 of the 2,529[SR(1]  accessions held in the CIP-genebank were acquired before the entry into force (December 29, 1993) of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and are included in the in trust agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Centers, and therefore are available for distribution for research, breeding, and training purposes under the ITPGRFA (amended SMTA). Most ARTCs are clonally propagated (oca, ulluco, mashua, achira, yacon, arracacha and mauka[1]) and are conserved in the CIP-genebank as in vitro plantlets (1,291 accessions), while the other two ARTCs are maintained as seed (ahipa and maca). Accessions not maintained in vitro and those undergoing characterization are conserved or grown in greenhouses and farmer fields, specifically in a rural community (La Libertad) located above 3,800 masl in the department of Junín (11º49 'S and 75º18' W). Maca and ahipa are the only species conserved as seeds in cold chambers (-20ºC) because they reproduce sexually.

The main priorities for the conservation, distribution and use of ARTCs are:

(i)      Reduce the number of accessions conserved in the field and greenhouse and to conserve in the field only accessions of the core collections needed for distribution to small holder farmers;

(ii)    Identify and eliminate duplicates and redundant materials;

(iii)   Verify the identity of accessions conserved for more than 20 years under in vitro and field conditions;

(iv)  Facilitate the international distribution and use of in vitro materials by the development of phytosanitary methods to certify accessions are disease-free.  This is currently beyond the funding capabilities of the genebank CRP.

Oca, ulluco, and mashua are the biggest clonal collections in CIP-genebank (Table 1). A core collection and identity verification for ulluco has been completed for 70% of the collection using passport information, morphological, and molecular (AFLPs) characterization. Preliminary analyses show about 25% of ulluco accessions are duplicates. DNA fingerprinting for 440 accessions of oca using 22 SSR markers will be completed in 2015. These results will be used in 2016 to improve the core collection (now based only on passport data and cytological and morphological characterization), to identify duplicates and to verify the identity of the oca accessions conserved under in vitro and field conditions. If the budget allows, in 2017 DNA fingerprinting of the mashua collection will start.


Table 1: Safety back-up of in vitro material as of Apr 30, 2016

Crop

In vitro

collection

Safety backed-up

at one location

NationalInternational
HuancayoCENARGENCIAT

Potato

4,3891

4,389

4,379

4,260

0

Sweetpotato

5,2832

5,124

4,9263

0

1,192

ARTc5

1,431

1,302

1,302

0

0

Total

11,103

10,815

10,607

  

%

 

97.4%

96%

97%

23%

Table 2: Safety back-up of seedaccessions as of  Apr 30, 2016
CropNumber of accession

Safety backed-up

at one location
NationalInternational
HuancayoSvalbard

Wild potato

2361

2047

2007

1805

Wild sweetpotato

1092

507

112

506

ARTc ( maca & ahipa)

530

183

183

98

Total

3983

2737

2302

2409

%

 

69%

58%

60.5%


 

 

 

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titleAndean Roots and tubers

In addition to the seven species of cultivated potato (Solanum spp.), and sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) conserved in the CIP-genebank, there are nine other genera (from nine different families) of lesser-known Andean Root and Tuber Crops (ARTCs) domesticated throughout the Andes (Table 1).  These ARTCs play an important role in nutrition, health, and food security for thousands of smallholder farmer families in the Andean highlands (Table 2). Although none of the ARTCs are Annex 1 crops of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), 1,173 of the 2,529[SR(1]  accessions held in the CIP-genebank were acquired before the entry into force (December 29, 1993) of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and are included in the in trust agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Centers, and therefore are available for distribution for research, breeding, and training purposes under the ITPGRFA (amended SMTA). Most ARTCs are clonally propagated (oca, ulluco, mashua, achira, yacon, arracacha and mauka[1]) and are conserved in the CIP-genebank as in vitro plantlets (1,291 accessions), while the other two ARTCs are maintained as seed (ahipa and maca). Accessions not maintained in vitro and those undergoing characterization are conserved or grown in greenhouses and farmer fields, specifically in a rural community (La Libertad) located above 3,800 masl in the department of Junín (11º49 'S and 75º18' W). Maca and ahipa are the only species conserved as seeds in cold chambers (-20ºC) because they reproduce sexually.

The main priorities for the conservation, distribution and use of ARTCs are:

(i)      Reduce the number of accessions conserved in the field and greenhouse and to conserve in the field only accessions of the core collections needed for distribution to small holder farmers;

(ii)    Identify and eliminate duplicates and redundant materials;

(iii)   Verify the identity of accessions conserved for more than 20 years under in vitro and field conditions;

(iv)  Facilitate the international distribution and use of in vitro materials by the development of phytosanitary methods to certify accessions are disease-free.  This is currently beyond the funding capabilities of the genebank CRP.

Oca, ulluco, and mashua are the biggest clonal collections in CIP-genebank (Table 1). A core collection and identity verification for ulluco has been completed for 70% of the collection using passport information, morphological, and molecular (AFLPs) characterization. Preliminary analyses show about 25% of ulluco accessions are duplicates. DNA fingerprinting for 440 accessions of oca using 22 SSR markers will be completed in 2015. These results will be used in 2016 to improve the core collection (now based only on passport data and cytological and morphological characterization), to identify duplicates and to verify the identity of the oca accessions conserved under in vitro and field conditions. If the budget allows, in 2017 DNA fingerprinting of the mashua collection will start.


Table 1: Safety back-up of in vitro material as of Apr 30, 2016

Crop

In vitro

collection

Safety backed-up

at one location

NationalInternational
HuancayoCENARGENCIAT

Potato

4,3891

4,389

4,379

4,260

0

Sweetpotato

5,2832

5,124

4,9263

0

1,192

ARTc5

1,431

1,302

1,302

0

0

Total

11,103

10,815

10,607

  

%

 

97.4%

96%

97%

23%

Table 2: Safety back-up of seedaccessions as of  Apr 30, 2016
CropNumber of accession

Safety backed-up

at one location
NationalInternational
HuancayoSvalbard

Wild potato

2361

2047

2007

1805

Wild sweetpotato

1092

507

112

506

ARTc ( maca & ahipa)

530

183

183

98

Total

3983

2737

2302

2409

%

 

69%

58%

60.5%


Expand
titleAchira (Canna indica)

The name is derived from the Quechua word achira. The plant is a perennial with flowers ranging from red to yellowish orange. There are 30-60 species of achira in America and Asia. Most produce fleshy starchy rhizomes with different degrees of human utility. The starch granule which is stored in the rhizomes is the largest of all known plant species, which could open new opportunities for the development of different products in the starch industry. In Vietnam about 30000 ha are sown to make high-value noodles.

Oca
Total Number of accessions (*)1035
Number of native accessions881
Number of accessions in vitro590
Number of native accessions in MLS492
Number of native accessions in MLS (in vitro)492
Number of accessions to verify identity (goal)445
Number of accessions studied until now for identity verification440(**)
FamilyOxalidaceae
Habitat altitude3000-4000
Edible partTuber
Current usesBoiled, baked
Traditional proccessingKaya

 

 

Expand
titleAhipa (Pachyrhizus spp.)

The name is derived from the Quechua word aqipa or ashipa. The plant is seed propagated, and sets only one swollen root, which is thickened at the top and tapering toward the tips “radish like” and eaten raw, like an apple. Other cultivated species are Pachyrhizus tuberosus, and P. erosus. P. tuberosus is grown in the highland rain forest of Peru and Ecuador from sea level to 1500 m., and sets several storage roots.  P. erosus, on the other hand, is grown in Central America through N. America (where it is known as jicama) and has been introduced into Brazil and other countries of Asia and Africa. 

Expand
titleArracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza )

The name is derived from the Quechua word rakacha. The upper part of the plant resembles celery.  Three main cultivars types are found in the Andean valleys, “amarillo” (yellow), “blanco” (white), and “morado” (purple). In Brasil about 20000 ha are sown annually. Arracacha starch is easy to digest and the root is rich in b-caroten, calcium, and starch. The main problem with this crop is poor postharvest storability. 

Expand
titleMaca (Lepidium meyenii)

This name is also a Quechua word. Maca is an annual herb but managed as a biennial crop. The first year maca grows vegetatively forming edible hypocotyls 6-8 months after planting. The second year maca grows reproductively and sets flowers and produces orthodox seeds. Maca cultivation is mostly restricted to the central Peruvian Andes (3500-4500 masl). Traditional uses include the putative enhancement of human and animal fertility. In Peru, about 3000 ha are sown annually. Global interest in maca is increasing rapidly. In 2014, more than 1200 patent applications related to maca were filed, mainly from China.

Expand
titleMashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum)

The name is derived from the Quechua word maswa or mashwa. The plant is a perennial closely related to nasturtium. Tuber color and shape vary considerably, and contain high levels of isothyocyanates (glucosinolates) which are well known for their insecticidal, nematocidal, and medicinal properties. The tubers of mashua are rich in starch, fiber, ascorbic acid, anthocyanin (purple mashuas), and b-carotene (yellow mashuas). Mashua is traditionally used by women to depress libido when she suspects her husband is cheating. 

Expand
titleMauka (Mirabilis expansa)

The name is derived from the Aymara word mauka. Although the species Mirabilis expansa was described in 1794 it remained in obscurity until 1965 when it was re-discovered in the rural community of Yokarguaya, Camacho, Bolivia at 2900 masl. It is preferable to expose the roots to sunlight before consumption to remove their unpleasant bitter taste. 

Expand
titleOca (Oxalis tuberosa)

The name is derived from the Quechua word ok’a, occa, uqa. Tubers are mainly claviform and cylinder in shape and tuber color ranges from white to deep grayish purple. Oca yields up to 20-40 tons per ha and tubers are ready for harvesting 7 months after planting. Oca is also grown in Mexico and New Zealand where oca has become a popular table vegetable and is simply called yam or New Zealand yam. Oca is a good source of carbohydrate, antioxidant compounds (anthocyanin and flavonoids), potassium and oxalates.

Expand
titleUlluco (Ulluucus tuberosus)

The name is derived from the Quechua word ulluku. The plant isa compact, succulent and mucilaginous herb. The plants produce large amounts of bisexual flowers but produces seeds. Tubers are mainly round, cylindrical, and semifalcate with colors ranging from white to purplish red including variegation. The pigments responsible for the color of the tubers are betacyanins and betaxanthins.

Expand
titleYacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius)

The name derives from the Quechua word yaku, alluding to the high water content of its storage roots. The original habitat is the Andean highlands, from southern Colombia to northern Argentina, between 1800 and 2800 masl. Currently, yacon is grown in Brasil, Korea, Japan, Czech Republic, Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand and China. Storage roots are harvested 7-8 months after planting and are valued because the roots contain fructooligosaccharides, a sugar which is not metabolized by human body, but aids in the growth of beneficial intestinal flora (prebiotic effect).

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