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Screening Cassava for Low Cyanide Using an Enzymatic Assay

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2008

R. D. Cooke
Affiliation:
Tropical Products Institute, 56 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8LU
A. K. Howland
Affiliation:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), PMB 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria
S. K. Hahn
Affiliation:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), PMB 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria

Summary

The cyanide contents were determined quantitatively of the peeled roots of 108 cassava clones, which had been previously selected as low-cyanide by the picrate leaf-test, and compared with the qualitative picrate leaf-test scores used for rapid screening. The correlation coefficient between root tuber cyanide content (dry weight basis) and leaf-test score was r = 0·36 (P < 0·01). The picrate leaf-test, while useful for screening large numbers of clones in early stages of breeding, needs augmenting by more accurate methods. There was no significant correlation between root cyanide content and dry root yield (r = 0·18). The cyanide content varied considerably between roots of the same plant; and plants of the same cultivar grown under the same conditions. Possible improvements in the effectiveness of the cyanide screening procedure are discussed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1978

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