, Volume 194, Issue 1, pp 125–136 | Cite as

Biofortification of taro (Colocasia esculenta) through breeding for increased contents in carotenoids and anthocyanins

  • A. Champagne
  • L. Legendre
  • V. Lebot


Biofortification of taro (Colocasia esculenta) has never been studied. The aim of the present study is to compare the chemical compositions and individual constituent contents for major compounds (starch, sugars, cellulose, proteins, minerals), carotenoids and anthocyanins between parents and hybrids selected first for their agronomic performance and second for their corm characteristics (flesh color, quality and taste). For major compounds, 45 selected hybrids were compared to 66 cultivars and for carotenoids and anthocyanins, 34 selected hybrids were compared to 79 cultivars. Total sugars, cellulose and mineral contents presented moderate increases in hybrids. Carotenoids and anthocyanins contents were not correlated with corm flesh colors, most likely in relation with the wide range of the observed variability. Anthocyanin contents could not be increased in the selected hybrids, while total carotenoid contents were increased by more than fourfolds. The results of this study indicate that carotenoid contents can be rapidly improved by selecting plants of good agronomic performance and corm shape with increased density of yellow and orange colors. Potential applications to taro breeding programs are discussed.


Anthocyanins Biofortification Carotenoids Primary compounds Taro 



All-trans-β-carotene equivalent


Cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalent


Coefficient of variation expressed in percentage


Dry matter


Solid phase extraction



This research was partly supported by the French ANR SYSTERRA program under the project “Vegeculture” (no ANR-10-STRA-007).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SST/ISVUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Université de LyonLyonFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Ecologie Microbienne, UMR5557, CNRSUniversité Lyon 1VilleurbanneFrance
  4. 4.CIRADPort-VilaVanuatu

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