Sustainable Giant Taro Production Under High Salinity in the Pacific
Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
This project is a part of the TSTAR-Pacific Program. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the existing germplasm and develop a transformation and selection protocol for salt tolerance swamp taro. The purpose of this project is to allow sustainability to the residents of atolls and low lying areas in Micronesia and American Samoa that are affected by salt water intrusion.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This a collaborative project with scientist from the American Samoa Community College, College of Micronesia and University of Hawaii to evaluate salt tolerant swamp taro germplasm from American Samoa and Micronesia. The germplasm will be analyzed by molecular techniques and evaluated under high salinity conditions. We will also develop a transformation system and selection procedure to improve salt tolerance of this crop.
The goal of this agreement is to evaluate the existing germplasm and develop a transformation and selection protocol for salt tolerance swamp taro, which contributes to objective 2 of the in-house project.
A raised lo`i (area for growing taro) has been constructed at the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources farm and will be used for salt tolerance screening. Select lines of Alocasia and one line of Crytospera were received from American Samoa Community College and are currently being propagated, which contributes to objective 2. Difficulties were encountered in shipping Crytospera material in from Micronesia so we have requested material from The Centre for Pacific Crops and Tree in Fiji. Salt tolerant Colocasia kalo Pa’akai currently being propagated and will be tested for salt tolerance to see if this may be a feasible crop for the people in salt inundated region of Micronesia and American Samoa.