Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Characterization of taro [Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott] germplasm for improved flavonoid composition and content

  • V. Lebot (a1), F. Lawac (a2), S. Michalet (a3) and L. Legendre (a3)

The starchy corms of taro (Colocasia esculenta) are consumed throughout the tropics and are essential for food security in many developing countries. Taro corms are increasingly processed into fries, chips, flours or flakes in urban areas, and varieties with attractive corm flesh colours are now needed. The identification of flavonoids in taro corms would add value to this crop. The present study developed a high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) protocol for the high-throughput screening of flavonoids in taro germplasm. Overall, 350 different accessions were analysed including 259 varieties from Vanuatu, one from Vietnam, eight from Thailand, eight from the Philippines, six from Malaysia, two from Japan and 18 from Indonesia. Forty-eight breeding lines (hybrids) including 21 from Vanuatu, 21 from Samoa, four from Hawaii and two from Papua New Guinea were also analysed. Ten flavones, namely luteolin-6-C-hexoside-8-C-pentoside, schaftoside, luteolin-3′,7-di-O-glucoside, homoorientin, isovitexin, orientin, luteolin-4′-O-glucoside, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, vitexin and apigenin-7-O-glucoside, were successfully detected in the corm and are responsible for the attractive yellow colour of the flesh and fibres. Quantitatively, luteolin-6-C-hexoside-8-C-pentoside and schaftoside were the most important of all the detected flavonoids. However, only 18% of the varieties analysed presented these two compounds and 80% presented poor flavonoid composition. No geographical structure of the variation was detected and the most flavone-rich varieties originated from Vanuatu, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The compounds detected in the present study were significantly and positively correlated, suggesting that there is potential for fast improvement through controlled crosses, subsequent evaluation of full-sib progenies and cloning of elite individuals.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

L Boudesocque , J Dorat , J Pothier , A Gueiffier and C Enguehard-Gueiffier (2013) High performance thin layer chromatography–densitometry: a step further for quality control of cranberry extracts. Food Chemistry 139: 866871.

C Bumke-Vogt , MA Osterhoff , A Borchert , V Guzamn-Perez , Z Sarem , AL Birkenfeld , V Bähr and AFH Pfeiffer (2014) The flavones apigenin and luteolin induce FOXO1 translocation but inhibit gluconeogenic and lipogenic gene expression in human cells. PLOS ONE 9: e104321.

S Caillon , J Quero-García , JP Lescure and V Lebot (2006) Nature of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) genetic diversity prevalent in a Pacific Ocean island, Vanua Lava, Vanuatu. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 53: 12731289.

A Champagne , S Bernillon , A Moing , D Rolin , L Legendre and V Lebot (2011) Diversity of anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds among tropical root crops from Vanuatu, South Pacific. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 24: 315325.

A Champagne , L Legendre and V Lebot (2013) Biofortification of taro (Colocasia esculenta) through breeding for increased contents in carotenoids and anthocyanins. Euphytica 194: 125136.

SS Du , HM Zhang , CQ Bai , CF Wang , QZ Liu , ZL Liu , YY Wang and ZW Deng (2011) Nematocidal flavone-C-glycosides against the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) from Arisaema erubescens tubers. Molecules 16: 50795086.

F Ferreres , RF Gonçalves , A Gil-Izquierdo , P Valantào , AMA Silva , JB Silva , D Santos and PB Andrade (2012) Further knowledge on the phenolic profile of Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60: 70057015.

RF Gonçalves , AMS Silva , AM Silva , P Valentào , F Ferreres , A Gil-Izquierdo , JB Silva , D Santos and PB Andrade (2013) Influence of taro (Colocasia esculenta L. Schott) growth conditions on the phenolic composition and biological properties. Food Chemistry 141: 34803485.

SV Irwin , P Kaufusi , K Banks , R de la Peña and JJ Cho (1998) Molecular characterization of taro (Colocasia esculenta) using RAPD markers. Euphytica 99: 183189.

P Kaushal , V Kumar and HK Sharma (2013) Utilization of taro (Colocasia esculenta): a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology 52: 2740.

CM Kreike , HJ van Eck and V Lebot (2004) Genetic diversity of taro, Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 109: 761768.

S Lamy , V Bédard , D Labbé , H Sartelet , C Barthomeur , D Gingras and R Béliveau (2008) The dietary flavones apigenin and luteolin impair smooth muscle cell migration and VEGF expression through inhibition of PDGFR-β phosphorylation. Cancer Prevention Research 1: 452459.

ACN Leong , Y Kinjo , M Tako , H Iwasaki , H Oku and H Tamaki (2010) Flavonoid glycosides in the shoot system of Okinawa Taumu (Colocasia esculenta S.). Food Chemistry 119: 630635.

J Quero-García , JL Noyer , X Perrier , JL Marchand and V Lebot (2004) A germplasm stratification of taro (Colocasia esculenta) based on agro-morphological descriptors, validation by AFLP markers. Euphytica 137: 387395.

J Quero-García , B Courtois , A Ivancic , P Letourmy , AM Risterucci , JL Noyer , P Feldmann and V Lebot (2006) First genetic maps and QTL studies of yield traits of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott). Euphytica 151: 187199.

J Quero-García , P Letourmy , A Ivancic , P Feldman , B Courtois , JL Noyer and V Lebot (2009) Hybrid performance in taro (Colocasia esculenta) in relation to genetic dissimilarity of parents. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119: 213221.

S Sagi , B Avula , YH Wang , J Zhao and IA Khan (2014) Quantitative determination of seven chemical constituents and chemo-type differentiation of chamomiles using high-performance thin-layer chromatography. Journal of Separation Science 37: 23972804.

J Sardos , JL Noyer , R Malapa , S Bouchet and V Lebot (2012) Genetic diversity of taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) in Vanuatu (Oceania): an appraisal of the distribution of allelic diversity (DAD) with SSR markers. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 59: 805820.

D Singh , G Jackson , D Hunter , R Fullerton , V Lebot , M Taylor , T Iosefa , T Okpul and J Tyson (2012) Taro leaf blight – a threat to food security. Agriculture 2: 182203.

A Soto-Vaca , A Gutierrez , JN Losso , Z Xu and JW Finley (2012) Evolution of phenolic compounds from color and flavor problems to health benefits. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60: 66586677.

D Treutter (2010) Managing phenol contents in crop plants by phytochemical farming and breeding: visions and constraints. International Journal of Molecular Science 11: 807857.

R Verbeek , AC Plomp , EAF van Tol and JM van Noort (2004) The flavones luteolin and apigenin inhibit in vitro antigen-specific proliferation and interferon-gamma production by murine and human autoimmune T cells. Biochemical Pharmacology 68: 621629.

PS Wu , JH Yen , MC Kou and MJ Wi (2015) Luteolin and apigenin attenuate 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-mediated cell death through modulation of UPR, N2-ARE and MAPK pathways in PC12 cells. PLOS ONE 10: e0130599.

M Zhu , X Zheng , Q Shu , H Li , P Zhong , H Zhang , Y Xu , L Wang and L Wang (2012) Relationship between the composition of flavonoids and flower colors variation in tropical lily (Nymphea) cultivars. PLOS ONE 7: e34335.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Plant Genetic Resources
  • ISSN: 1479-2621
  • EISSN: 1479-263X
  • URL: /core/journals/plant-genetic-resources
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 323 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.