Crop Wild Relatives of Root Vegetables in North America

  • Justin E. Anderson
  • Alexandra Campbell
  • Michael B. KantarEmail author


Root and tuber crops are staples in diets across the world. They are favored due to a large yield associated with the small acreage needed to grow. Generally, they tend to be fairly robust to insect and disease pests and have historically been used as starvation food. Some root and tuber crops, such as potato, sweet potato, or cassava, are the primary source of daily calories for many cultures worldwide. Some tuber crops are only partially domesticated, facilitating the use of crop wild relatives (CWR). Many different cultures have their favorite root crops, but culinary preparation techniques often allow for different tubers to be used, making the acceptance of these crops fairly rapid. Here, we explore the origins and uses of eight tuber and root crops that are important to world diets and have many related wild species in North America.


Tubers Species richness Germplasm Plant breeding 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin E. Anderson
    • 1
  • Alexandra Campbell
    • 2
  • Michael B. Kantar
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of PlantsRuhr University BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Tropical Plant and Soil ScienceUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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