Northeast India is rich in genetic diversity of horticultural crops and colocasia is one of the important crops. This region is rich in colocasia diversity for both cultivated and wild species particularly in jhum fields, homestead gardens, near water bodies, river banks, forests and road sides. Wide range of variability is observed in vegetative characters, corm and cormel characters, yield and quality characters. It is cultivated in jhum field as a mixed crop along with paddy and other crops like ginger, chilli, maize, turmeric etc. and in homestead garden, it is cultivated along with maize, cucurbits, chilli, King chilli, etc. The nutrient rich and gluten free tuber crop is an integral part of traditional cuisines of ethnic people of this region. All the plant parts of this ariod member are edible. Several traditional dishes have been prepared from leaves, petioles and tubers. The leaves, petioles and damaged tubers are also fed to pig and poultry. Recent past, the genetic diversity of colocasia is under threat due to urbanization, climate change, introduction of new crops, and pest and diseases and resulted in genetic erosion. The conservation of these vast gene pool is necessary.
colocasia, botany, genetic variability, nutritive value
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