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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1083: VIII International Symposium on In Vitro Culture and Horticultural Breeding

NEW CLONES OF CASSAVA (MANIHOT ESCULENTA CRANTZ) WITH LOW CYANOGENIC POTENTIAL FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION IN NATURA

Authors:   S.P. Carvalho, J.N.D. Caetano, I.S. Pereira
Keywords:   cloning, plant breeding, vegetative reproduction
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1083.71
Abstract:
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important food supply for both humans and domestic animals. It is cultivated in the Americas, Africa and Asia, in an extensive range of land ranging from 30S to 30N latitude, under wide varia-tions in climate and soil. In many less developed countries with food security prob-lems, cassava is a major food supply of energy. In Africa, for example, cassava was introduced in the 16th century, providing roots and leaves for feeding millions of people. Cassava leaves provide protein, helping to reduce or even prevent malnutrition in large human contingents. Desirable characteristics of cassava clones are grown depending on the commercial purposes of culture, whether for industry or for human consumption in natura. The cassava for human consumption in natura should not present cyanogenic potential and can therefore be classified as a non-toxic cassava. It features a sweet taste. The cyanogenic potential is characterized by the ability to release cianidric acid (HCN), a substance highly toxic if ingested by people. In the Lavras Federal University (UFLA), Department of Agriculture, New Clones were obtained from cassava botanical seeds obtained by cross breeding. Some of these clones are currently being evaluated in an experiment installed in May 2012 in UFLA, with commercial clones. The clones are currently being evaluated for agronomic and commercial quality for human consumption in natura. Among the characters to be evaluated the cyanogenic potential of each clone is highlighted. In practice the separation between toxic and non-toxic cassava is made by tasting the raw pulp roots. However, it is imprecise and can still bring some risk to the safety of people who are doing the tasting. Some of these clones have shown early low levels of total cyanide, within acceptable limits for human consumption in natura.

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