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Distribution, management and diversity of the endangered Amerindian yam (Dioscorea trifida L.)/Distribuicao, manejo e diversidade da especie ameacada de inhame amerindio (Dioscorea trifida L.).

1. Introduction

Dioscorea is the largest and most important genus of the family Dioscoreaceae, with 644 species approximately (Govaerts et al., 2007). Among these, only 10 are considered important in human nutrition (Lebot, 2009), and in Brazil only D. alata L., D. cayenensis Lam, D. rotundata Poir., D. bulbifera L. and D. trifida L. are grown and consumed (Pedralli, 1988; Bressan et al., 2005; Veasey et al., 2010; Siqueira et al., 2014).

Domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples and of Neotropical distribution, Dioscorea trifida was probably the first yam species cultivated by indigenous peoples and immigrants from Europe and Africa in the Amazon (Lebot, 2009; Bousalem et al., 2010). Although there is still controversy regarding the origin and domestication of this species and its evolutionary history is poorly documented, studies show that among the economically important yam species in Brazil, D. trifida originated in South America, specifically in areas located on the border between Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana (Pedralli, 1992).

In Brazil, D. trifida occurs in areas of rain forests, savannas of the Planalto Central, rocky fields of the Cadeia do Espinhaco and seasonal forests adjacent to these fields (Pedralli, 2002), and has been maintained and propagated by traditional farmers in the Vale do Ribeira, Sao Paulo (Bressan et al., 2005), in the Baixada Cuiabana, Mato Grosso (Ferreira et al., 2010), in Manaus and its surroundings, in the channel of Rio Negro and in Belem (Lin Chau Ming, personal communication). Despite the problems related to agricultural production and lack of consumption diversification, this crop is an important food source, because its tubers have a high nutritional quality, and astringent, antimicrobial, diuretic and energizing properties, allowing its use in fighting malnutrition and for several diseases treatment such as diabetes, reducing cholesterol and convalescence (Ramos-Escudero et al., 2010).

Although the tubers are of high nutritive quality and are highly appreciated in the cuisine of several Brazilian communities, little has been observed on the cultivation of D. trifida on a commercial basis, with the crop being underutilized and most of the cultivation performed by traditional farmers for their own subsistence (Carmo, 2002). However, in some Brazilian states, such as Amazonas and Santa Catarina, the commercialization of this species seems to occur in an intensive way (Veasey et al., 2010).

Over the past decades traditional farmers have suffered strong socioeconomic pressures that have been leading towards a decrease of agricultural activities, with farmers abandoning the fields, and thus leading to a loss of genetic diversity of yam species and other crops such as cassava and sweet potato (Siqueira and Veasey, 2009; Siqueira, 2011). In this context, there is a need for studies to verify the damage caused by these pressures to the yam crop, to estimate the genetic diversity that is managed by these farmers and to develop strategies for conservation and maintenance of traditional varieties, which are an important source of genes for various desirable agronomic characteristics such as resistance to pests, pathogens and abiotic factors.

Studies related to the morphological characterization of D. trifida accessions are scarce, such as the study conducted by Bressan (2005), assessing 25 local varieties of D. trifida from the Vale do Ribeira, Sao Paulo. Therefore, any information on the morphology of the species is important to aid to their conservation and maintenance. Based on morphological characters, Melo Filho et al. (2000) classified 11 accessions of the yam germplasm collection of the Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Brazil, while Mignouna et al. (2002) characterized 45 yam accessions of D. cayenensis/D. rotundata collected in Cameroon, Africa, and Hasan et al. (2008) evaluated the morphological variation among 70 accessions of D. alata from Malaysia.

This study aimed to obtain information regarding the distribution, management and the morphological and nomenclature diversity of D. trifida local varieties held by small farmers in Brazil in order to assist in the development of more effective conservation strategies for the species.

2. Material and Methods

Between 2009 and 2010, 21 communities in nine municipalities were visited, distributed in the States of Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso, located between latitudes 14[degrees]43'S and 26[degrees]15'S and longitudes 44[degrees]05'W and 57[degrees]59'W (Table 1; Figure 1). During the visits interviews and previously standardized semi-structured questionnaires were made regarding the socioeconomic characteristics of the farmers, and the management and use of D. trifida varieties. Simultaneously, with the consent of the owners, yam tubers were collected, so that all the varieties grown and consumed in these locations could be sampled and maintained ex situ. Two accessions obtained in local markets of Manaus and Barcelos, in the State of Amazonas, were also used in this study for the morphological analysis.

The collected materials were planted in pots in the greenhouse, to allow a first step of multiplication and plant quarantine. Two months after planting, the plants were transplanted to the field with two replications. The spacing between rows and between plants was 2.5 m and 1.5 m, respectively.

We used 11 qualitative and one quantitative (number of leaf lobes) morphological traits to characterize the accessions (Table 2). These traits were selected from a list developed by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), located in Ibadan, Nigeria, which includes morphological descriptors for various economically important species of the genus Dioscorea, except D. trifida (IPGRI and IITA, 1997). The characterization was performed in two plants representing each accession. Information concerning the morphological and socioeconomic data as well as those related to the handling and consumption of D. trifida were evaluated by descriptive analysis and then compared between the different study sites.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Distribution and socioeconomic aspects

A total of 53 accessions of D. trifida was collected, with 25 accessions from Sao Paulo State, 14 from Mato Grosso, 12 from Santa Catarina and two accessions collected in markets of Amazonas State (Table 1).

D. trifida is considered an underutilized species and is maintained mainly by small and medium size farmers. Thus, a socioeconomic characterization was necessary at the time of collection in order to acquire data to assist in the profile of these farmers. Of the interviewed farmers, responsible for the maintenance of agricultural activities related to the yam cultivation, 75% were men and 25% women. The mean age was 59.5 years old (40 [less than or equal to] n [less than or equal to] 79), with 62 years for the women, on average, and 59 years for the men, on average.

Unlike the early days of agriculture, where men were responsible for hunting and fishing, and women for planting and harvesting, currently it is observed that most of those responsible for agricultural activities are male, although all family members are involved. This is because activities related to agriculture are very laborious, with a low financial return, and therefore, the cultivation of yam is characterized by low involvement of women in field activities (Tamiru et al., 2008).

Similarly, there is a reduced number of young people and labor available for agricultural activities, with only an average of three individuals per farm the amount of people involved in activities related to the cultivation of yams. As yam is a subsistence agriculture crop maintained by the family, only family members, usually over the age of 50 years, are involved in these activities. According to Carneiro (2001), this condition becomes a problem because the maintenance of family farming occurs in an endogenously way, subsided by the community, with the successor of a productive unit traditionally being a family member. Therefore, the reduction in the number of young people and scarcity of labor may result in reducing this type of agriculture over the next generations.

The productive units, where D. trifida cultivation was observed, showed swidden fields with less than two hectares (92%), with its plantation intercropped with other species, especially vegetables, in most cases. According to Miller and Nair (2006), swidden fields are of fundamental importance for the conservation of yam varieties, as well as various other crops, since a high biodiversity, with multiple purposes for the farmers, is maintained at these sites (Smith, 1996).

In relation to the varieties grown by the visited farmers, 44% said they had acquired from predecessor family members living in the collection site, the planting being carried out with tubers derived from materials obtained some decades ago and which were passed down the generations; 40% stated they grow varieties provided by neighbors and 16% did not know the origin of the material. As there is no formal system for the supply of seed tubers, varieties of D. trifida grown in these areas are kept for decades and these are exchanged between local farmers, with a low incidence of introduction of new varieties from other areas. These data corroborate the studies reported by Tamiru et al. (2008), which also noted that in Ethiopia there was no formal system for the supply of yam tubers, as well as farmers specialized in producing materials for planting.

During the collection and subsequent identification of the material in the greenhouse, we observed that sprouted tubers sometimes belonged to other species of Dioscorea, particularly D. alata (Siqueira et al., 2014). It was also observed that 56% of the farmers cultivate only one variety of D. trifida, unlike other species of vegetative propagation, such as cassava (Manihot esculenta), potato (Solanum tuberosum), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) (Brush et al., 1981; Salick et al., 1997; Sambatti et al., 2001; Emperaire and Peroni, 2007; Amorozo, 2008; Veasey et al., 2008), where it is customary to keep two or more varieties in the same farm. This decrease in the number of yam varieties maintained by farmers is worrisome because it is directly related to the loss of genetic resources and the process of genetic erosion. However, in general, we found several varieties of D. trifida maintained by farmers located in the study areas, which characterizes the type of agriculture practiced in the tropics, where several crop species or varieties of the same species are kept in rural farms by small and medium farmers (Clawson, 1985; Brush, 1995), in response to economic, social, cultural and natural factors (Cox and Wood, 1999).

Moreover, it was also observed that 44% of farmers plant more than one variety of D. trifida. This procedure aims to give greater assurance of harvest, because if some biotic and abiotic stress may interfere with planting, all varieties are hardly affected in the same intensity, thus increasing the probability of obtaining a production that guarantees at least the family sustainability during adverse conditions.

The loss of genetic resources was also observed when 96% of the farmers claimed to have planted yam varieties that are no longer planted in the property. The main reasons listed by the farmers were abandoning the fields in order to obtain employment in urban areas, thus ensuring a source of income to support their family; changes in the physicochemical conditions of the soil, leading to the emergence of diseases in the crop, and consequently the total loss of the crop; preference of a variety over others; reduction of manpower available to carry out the activities of preparation, planting and harvesting; poor land distribution, heavily reducing the area available for agricultural activities; lack of information regarding the proper management of the crop such as diseases and pests management, allowing large losses of tubers at harvest time; as well as increased production costs, low returns and lack of financial incentive to encourage the practice of family agriculture.

When farmers continue their activities in the field and keep the varieties of D. trifida in successive cycles of planting and harvesting, they perform several agricultural practices in order to increase the production of tubers. Among these practices, we observed the use of herbicides and organic or chemical fertilizers. However, significant differences in the mode and frequency of application of these inputs among the visited areas were found, where only farmers in Santa Catarina reported using some type of agricultural implement. This fact is relevant because we noticed that farmers in Santa Catarina are better prepared in terms of management given to the yam cultivation, which justifies the production of up to 2,500 kg of yam obtained in some properties with an area above 2 ha, the highest production found among the areas visited. This production is also related to the fact that the tubers of D. trifida are greatly appreciated by producers and consumers in the region, rather than tubers of D. alata and D. cayenensis, species of greatest economic impact in Brazil. Also, tubers of D. trifida were found being sold in a local supermarket, as well as being served in a typical restaurant of the region (Veasey et al., 2010). This species also has a commercial interest in the Amazon, being the main species of the genus Dioscorea sold in local markets (Lin Chau Ming, personal communication), such as the two accessions of the Amazon evaluated in this study.

As yam is considered an underutilized and subsistence crop, it is quite remarkable the lack of information related to its management and potential use, as emphasized by the farmers themselves, as well as the delay in the processing of yams in Brazil. These factors are reflections of a malfunction of the activities related to agricultural production and also lack of consumption diversification (Chu and Figueiredo-Ribeiro, 1991).

In other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia, although substantial consumption diversification occurs, especially through the use of significant industrial or homemade yams products, the technological level is low and the products produced do not exceed the boundaries due to poor quality, being used only for local consumption or at a regional level. Santos (1996) stated that for the yam cultivation to reach high yields, it requires favorable climate conditions during the vegetative and reproductive cycle, especially adequate availability of light and water. However, the most limiting factors for yam cultivation are associated with low natural fertility of the soil used and improper management directly related to the small family and traditional agriculture (Chu and Figueiredo-Ribeiro, 1991). Thus, the availability of yam for industrialization in Brazil is not very significant because there is no definition of the types of products most recommended to then select varieties appropriate for each situation or market requirement. Therefore, the local interest of the farmers themselves is the main factor of selection and the driving force for the maintenance of yam varieties, especially D. trifida, whose cultivation and maintenance are performed exclusively by Brazilian farmers and some other Latin American countries such as Suriname and French Guiana (Bousalem et al., 2010).

3.2. Folk names and morphological characterization

The yam varieties found under cultivation are given different names by the local communities, which consider a combination of morphological, sensory and ecological adaptation to classify them, and perhaps these are the main criteria used to select varieties that are maintained over time (Tamiru et al., 2008). Contrary to what Stephens (2009) claims, where cara doce (sweet yam) is the only name given to D. trifida in Brazil, in this study we found that, among the folk names attributed to the species, the most mentioned was cara roxo (purple yam) (43.4% of the sampled units), followed by cara (yam) (13.2%), cara branco (white yam) (9.4%), and cara mimoso (delicate yam) (7.6%). There was also a regionalization of these names, where cara roxo was assigned to the species by the farmers in Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso and Amazonas, cara in Santa Catarina and Amazonas, cara branco in Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso, and cara mimoso only in Santa Catarina. Besides these, several other names for the species were found, but in low frequencies (Table 3).

From the morphological characterization, we found that all accessions of D. trifida showed green petioles with brown pigment; polygonal winged stem, a specific feature of climbing plants, because the presence of membranous wings on the stem facilitates their attachment during growth; absence of spines, unlike D. cayenensis and D. rotundata, widely cultivated species, especially in the northeastern and southeastern Brazil (Veasey et al., 2010); counterclockwise twining direction, exclusive of the Dioscorea species of Macrogynodium section, in which D. trifida is the only economically important species (Lebot, 2009); and underground tubers, like most species of the genus Dioscorea.

All accessions showed lobed leaves and most accessions presented alternate leaves with five lobes, except for accessions 40 and 41 collected in Acorizal, Mato Grosso, who showed only three lobes (Figure 2a and 2b). These could belong to another Dioscorea species, however due to its high morphological similarity to the other accessions, most probably these two accessions are products of gene mutation related to number of lobes.

Most accessions showed green stems with purple pigments, except for accessions 01, 02, 03, 07, 09, 10 and 14, collected in Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, and accessions 48 and 50, collected in Rosario do Oeste, Mato Grosso, which showed green stems with a brown pigmentation. Bressan (2005) concluded that the cultural unit, which is the community, have a great influence over the morphological characters, since farmers grow varieties with similar morphological aspects.

The most important traits for the accessions differentiation were those related to the tuber, especially the skin and flesh colors (Figures 2c, 2d, 2e and 3). We found that 68% of the accessions had brown skin and 32% yellow skin. As to the flesh color, 42% of the accessions showed white flesh, 24% purple flesh and 34% showed flesh color of a mixture of several tonalities of white and purple, especially the accessions collected in Ubatuba, SP (Figure 2d). Characteristics related to the tubers are usually responsible for the names given to the different yam varieties by farmers, such as cara roxo (purple yam), cara branco (white yam), among others.

Because it is a vegetative propagation species and maintained primarily by family farms, some degree of homogeneity is expected among these varieties, as indicated by morphological characterization, although variations between them have been observed. However, the exchange of tubers among farmers is common practice in traditional communities. In many cases, there is an intense exchange of tubers from neighboring communities in an open and dynamic system, where local networks promote the planting of varieties in larger and more heterogeneous environments, often resulting in long-distance travelling, even among municipalities (Tesfaye and Ludders, 2003).

We conclude from this study that D. trifida is grown and consumed by traditional communities in the States of Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Mato Grosso, and is commercialized in the States of Amazonas. In most of these communities there is no formal system for the supply of seed tubers, with tubers exchange occurring among local farmers, and, consequently, a low rate of introduction of new varieties from other areas is observed.

Deficiency and lack of information related to management, potential uses and yam industrialization in Brazil are a reflection of inadequate functioning of the activities related to agricultural production and lack of consumption diversification, both caused by the lack of political and financial support for the maintenance of a production system, processing and marketing of tubers.

Given the importance of this crop and the socioeconomic context in which D. trifida cultivation is inserted, there is an urgent need to detect the genetic diversity of the species held by Brazilian farmers, to facilitate their preservation, as well as their use in breeding programs. Studies that relate the problems faced by the yam crop may enhance the role that this crop plays in food security and ensure the ongoing maintenance of yam diversity through an increased use of varieties available.


The authors would like to thank the researchers Jose Carlos Feltran from Instituto Agronomico and Antonio Henrique dos Santos from Epagri, Santa Catarina, as well as Danielle Muniz da Silva and Caroline Groppo Blumer, for their assistance in this research and the agriculturists for their contributions in the field collecting and interviews. The authors also wish to thank FAPESP (process no. 2007/04805-2) and CNPq for the financial support given to this study.


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Nascimento, WF. (a) *, Siqueira, MVBM. (b), Ferreira, AB. (c), Ming, LC. (c) Peroni, N. (d) and Veasey, EA. (e)

(a) Centro de Ciencias Agrarias e Ambientais, Universidade Federal do Maranhao--UFMA, BR-222, Km 04, s/n, Boa Vista, CEP 65500-000, Chapadinha, MA, Brazil

(b) Central de Laboratorios de Pesquisa, Ciencia e Tecnologia Ambiental, Universidade Sagrado Coracao--USC, Rua Irma Arminda, 10-50, Jardim Brasil, CEP 17011-160, Bauru, SP, Brazil

(c) Faculdade de Ciencias Agronomicas de Botucatu, Universidade Estadual Paulista "Julio de Mesquita Filho"--UNESP, Rua Jose Barbosa de Barros, 1780, Botucatu, CEP 18610-307, Botucatu, SP, Brazil

(d) Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina--UFSC, Campus Universitario, s/n, Corrego Grande, CEP 88037-000, Florianopolis, SC, Brazil

(e) Departamento de Genetica, Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz", Universidade de Sao Paulo--USP, Avenida Padua Dias, 11, Piracicaba, CEP 13418-900, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil

* e-mail:

Received: May 22, 2013--Accepted: August 26, 2013--Distributed: March 31, 2015 (With figures 3)

Table 1. Dioscorea trifida accessions collected in Brazil.

No     ID      Municipallity            Community

01    180       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
02    181       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
03    182       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
04    183       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
05    184       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
06    185       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
07    187       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
08    191       Ubatuba-SP          Sertao das Cutias
09    193       Ubatuba-SP              Rio Escuro
10    195       Ubatuba-SP            Sertao do Inga
11    196       Ubatuba-SP            Sertao do Inga
12    197       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
13    198       Ubatuba-SP            Sertao do Inga
14    201       Ubatuba-SP            Sertao do Inga
15    203       Ubatuba-SP            Sertao do Inga
16    204       Ubatuba-SP              Rio Escuro
17    208       Ubatuba-SP               Arariba
18    210       Ubatuba-SP         Sertao de Ubatumirim
19    216       Ubatuba-SP           Fazenda da Caixa
20    217       Ubatuba-SP           Feira de Ubatuba
21    236        Manaus-AM           Feira em Manaus
22    237       Barcelos-AM         Feira em Barcelos
23    281      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
24    282      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
25    283      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
26    285     S. F. do Sul-SC             Acarai
27    286      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
28    287      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
29    290      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
30    292      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
31    297      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
32    298      Joinville-SC            Rio da Prata
33    301      Joinville-SC            Rio da Prata
34    302      Joinville-SC            Pirabeiraba
35    312        Iguape-SP        Pontalzinho--Icapara
36    313        Iguape-SP              Cavalcanti
37    323        Iguape-SP        Pontalzinho--Icapara
38    328        Iguape-SP                Momuna
39    329        Iguape-SP                Momuna
40    335       Acorizal-MT              Carumbe
41    336       Acorizal-MT              Carumbe
42    340        Cuiaba-MT            Rio dos Couros
43    343      Acorizal, MT              Carumbe
44    344        Nobres-MT             Sela Dourada
45    345       Jangada-MT       Sto. Antonio do Barreiro
46    350        Nobres-MT             Sela Dourada
47    351        Nobres-MT             Sela Dourada
48    352    Rosario Oeste-MT            Timbozal
49    355       Acorizal-MT          Chapada Vacaria
50    361        Nobres-MT             Sela Dourada
51    364    Rosario Oeste-MT         Barranco Alto
52    366        Nobres-MT             Sela Dourada
53    368    Rosario Oeste-MT         Barranco Alto

No         Folk name        [color.sub.1]

01         Cara roxo           Green Br
02        Cara branco          Green Br
03         Cara roxo           Green Br
04         Cara roxo          Green Pur
05         Cara roxo          Green Pur
06         Cara roxo          Green Pur
07        Cara branco          Green Br
08         Cara roxo          Green Pur
09        Cara branco          Green Br
10       Cara cobrinha         Green Br
11        Cara branco         Green Pur
12         Cara roxo          Green Pur
13         Cara roxo          Green Pur
14         Cara roxo           Green Br
15         Cara roxo          Green Pur
16         Cara roxo          Green Pur
17         Cara roxo          Green Pur
18         Cara roxo          Green Pur
19         Cara roxo          Green Pur
20         Cara roxo          Green Pur
21         Cara roxo          Green Pur
22           Cara             Green Pur
23           Cara             Green Pur
24        Cara mimoso         Green Pur
25           Cara             Green Pur
26         Cara pao           Green Pur
27        Cara mimoso         Green Pur
28     Carcanha de nego       Green Pur
29        Cara mimoso         Green Pur
30           Cara             Green Pur
31           Cara             Green Pur
32           Cara             Green Pur
33        Cara mimoso         Green Pur
34           Cara             Green Pur
35    Cara S Joao branco      Green Pur
36         Cara-pipa          Green Pur
37     Cara S Joao roxo       Green Pur
38    Cara Sao Joao roxo      Green Pur
39    Cara S Joao branco      Green Pur
40         Cara roxo          Green Pur
41         Cara roxo          Green Pur
42      Cara pe de anta       Green Pur
43        Cara branco         Green Pur
44      Cara do Joaquim       Green Pur
45         Cara roxo          Green Pur
46        Cara branco         Green Pur
47     Cara mao de anta       Green Pur
48     Cara mao de anta        Green Br
49         Cara roxo          Green Pur
50         Cara roxo           Green Br
51      Pombinho branco       Green Pur
52    Cara roxo cumprido      Green Pur
53         Cara roxo          Green Pur

       Number        Tuber         Tuber
No    of lobes    skin color    flesh color

01        5          Brown       Pur white
02        5          Brown       Pur white
03        5          Brown       Pur white
04        5          Brown       Pur white
05        5          Brown       Pur white
06        5          Brown       Pur white
07        5          Brown         White
08        5          Brown         Purple
09        5          Brown         White
10        5          Brown         White
11        5         Yellow         White
12        5          Brown       Pur white
13        5          Brown       Pur white
14        5          Brown       Pur white
15        5          Brown       Pur white
16        5          Brown       Pur white
17        5         Yellow       Pur white
18        5          Brown         White
19        5          Brown         Purple
20        5         Yellow       Pur white
21        5          Brown         Purple
22        5         Yellow         Purple
23        5          Brown         White
24        5         Yellow         White
25        5          Brown         White
26        5          Brown         White
27        5         Yellow         White
28        5          Brown         White
29        5         Yellow         White
30        5         Yellow         White
31        5         Yellow         White
32        5          Brown         White
33        5         Yellow         White
34        5         Yellow         White
35        5         Yellow       Pur white
36        5          Brown         Purple
37        5          Brown       Pur white
38        5          Brown         White
39        5         Yellow         White
40        3         Yellow         Purple
41        3         Yellow         Purple
42        5          Brown         Purple
43        5         Yellow         White
44        5         Yellow         White
45        5          Brown       Pur white
46        5          Brown       Pur white
47        5          Brown         White
48        5          Brown         Purple
49        5          Brown         Purple
50        5          Brown         Purple
51        5          Brown         Purple
52        5          Brown         Purple
53        5          Brown       Pur white

(1) Green brown (Green Br), Green purple (Green Pur).

Table 2. Morphological traits used for characterization
of the Dioscorea trifida accessions collected in Brazil.


1. Petiole color          7. Position of leaves
2. Stem color             8. Leaf shape
3. Absence/presence of    9. Number of lobes
  wings in the stem
4. Absence/presence of    10. Absence/presence of
  spines in the stem        underground tubers
5. Twining direction      11. Tuber skin color
6. Stem shape             12. Tuber flesh color

Table 3. Folk names for Dioscorea trifida given by farmers
in the States of Mato Grosso, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo
and Amazonas, Brazil.

                                        Number of
                                    citations by State

Folk name                (%)     MT    SC    SP    AM

Cara roxo               43.40     7     -    15     1
Cara                    13.20     -     6     -     1
Cara branco              9.43     1     -     4     -
Cara mimoso              7.55     -     4     -     -
Cara Sao Joao branco     3.77     -     -     2     -
Cara Sao Joao roxo       3.77     -     -     2     -
Cara mao de anta         3.77     2     -     -     -
Cara pao                 1.89     -     1     -     -
Calcanhar de negro       1.89     -     1     -     -
Cara pipa                1.89     -     -     1     -
Cara pe de anta          1.89     1     -     -     -
Cara do Joaquim          1.89     1     -     -     -
Pombinho branco          1.89     1     -     -     -
Cara cobrinha            1.89     -     -     1     -
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Nascimento, W.F.; Siqueira, M.V.B.M.; Ferreira, A.B.; Ming, L.C.; Peroni, N.; Veasey, E.A.
Publication:Brazilian Journal of Biology
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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