研究成果

Elucidating the origin of west African staple crop Guinea yam ― Hybrid of wild species that grow in savannah and rainforest ―

 
 

Elucidating the origin of west African staple crop Guinea yam
―Hybrid of wild species that grow in savannah and rainforest―

 

Summary

Root vegetable crops of the genus Dioscorea are collectively called yam. Over 90% of the world's yams are produced in west African regions such as Nigeria and Ghana. The white Guinea yam is the most important yam in the area and a staple food closely associated with west African society and culture. However, its origin has been unknown until now. Our research group has succeeded in decoding the genome of Guinea yam for the first time in the world in 2017. In the present study, the genomes of more than 300 accessions of Guinea yam were resequenced and compared with the genome sequence of wild yam species. As a result, it was revealed that Guinea yam is likely to be a hybrid from crosses between two wild yam species, D. praehensilis and D. abyssinica, that grow in the rainforest and savannah areas, respectively. Using the genomic information and the wild yam species in breeding, it is expected that many agriculturally important genes associated to disease resistance, stress tolerance, yield etc. can be introduced to Guinea yam and contribute to food security in west Africa.

This research is a collaboration of Iwate Biotechnology Research Center, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI) and Kyoto University. The results were published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on December 3, 2020.

Note: Translation of the press release in Japanese.

Related Information

This research was carried out under the auspices of the AfricaYam Project of IITA and the EDITS-Yam project funded by JIRCAS.

Publication

Authors
Yu Sugihara, Kwabena Darkwa, Hiroki Yaegashi, Satoshi Natsume, Motoki Shimizu, Akira Abe, Akiko Hirabuchi, Kazue Ito, Kaori Oikawa, Muluneh Tamiru-Oli, Atsushi Ohta, Ryo Matsumoto, Paterne Agre, David De Koeyer, Babil Pachakkil, Shinsuke Yamanaka, Satoru Muranaka, Hiroko Takagi, Ben White, Robert Asiedu, Hideki Innan, Asrat Asfaw, Patrick Adebola, Ryohei Terauchi
Title
Genome Analyses Reveal the Hybrid Origin of the Staple Crop White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea rotundata)
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 
https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015830117

 

For Inquiries

Kyoto University
Research Coordinator: Dr. TERAUCHI Ryohei

JIRCAS(Tsukuba Headquarters)
President : Dr. IWANAGA Masa 
Program Director:Dr. NAKASHIMA Kazuo
Researcher in charge:Dr. MURANAKA Satoru (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)
Press Coordinator:Dr. NAKAMOTO Kazuo (Head, Information and Public Relations Office)
Press e-mail:koho-jircas@ml.affrc.go.jp