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Abstract

In Puerto Rico taro is considered a minor crop with most of its production under natural wetland conditions. Late in 2004 there were reports of a disease which destroys most of the plants' foliage, resulting in decreased plant size and yield reduction. This disease was confirmed as the taro leaf blight, which devastated the wetland taro production throughout southeastern Puerto Rico. Disease-tolerant varieties appeared as an alternative for the maintenance of the production of taro. The objective was to determine whether blight-tolerant varieties from Hawaii are adapted for production and marketing in Puerto Rico, considering the pressure of this disease. Hawaiian varieties designated as 19F, 2000-101 and MP2 demonstrated potential for direct selection as commercial varieties. Improved performance of Hawaiian varieties was associated with their better stand. Eating qualities for the Hawaiian varieties appeared different from those accepted in the Caribbean Basin.

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