Wild Taro Research Project

About Wild Taro Research Project

"Mapping Genetic Diversity in Taro to Test Domestication Theories" is a four-year (1 April 2017 - 31 March 2020) international research project supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS Kakenhi No. 17H04614).

Project updates will mainly appear in our project blog (use this link, or see menu above). A Wild Taro Working Group will also be developed here.

Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is an ancient root and vegetable crop of temperate and tropical regions of Africa, Eurasia, and Oceania. In recent centuries it also reached the Americas. We are attempting to learn more about the natural and cultural history of this crop, in Southeast Asia and beyond.

An application for JSPS funding was submitted in October 2016, and accepted in April 2017 (Kaken Grant. These are public funds administered through the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, under the direction of the project leader, Dr Peter J. Matthews.

See profile and publications list at Museum website.

Publications related to this project can be found here: Researchgate profile.

Links to publications by other project members will be added to the Project website, as time permits.

Key documents and published papers related to this project, and authored by project members, will be added to the Project website as open-access files.


C. formosana, vic. Mt Polis, Philippines (PJM, 22nd Nov. 2011)

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Economic Aroids Workshop at IBC, Shenzen, 2017

By: Research Cooperative
Posted in: Meetings
Economic Aroids Workshop at IBC, Shenzen, 2017

The Economic Aroids Workshop will be an 'Associated Meeting' of the XIX International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Shenzen  (see listing here, ST-24)


Peter J. Matthews (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka)

Chunlin Long (Minzu University of China, Beijing; and Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming)

Date: 24 July, 2017

Time: 11:00 am -13:00 pm

Venue: main conference center.


The convenors will present a brief overview of economic aroids (Fam. Araceae) and research on these plants, and then introduce the "Wild Taro Research Project" . We will invite cross-disciplinary collaboration for an exploration of the natural and cultural history of taro (Colocasia esculenta), other economic aroids, and their wild relatives.

As a 'roundtable' workshop, all participants will be invited to consider and discuss ways in which historical, ethnobotanical, ecological, taxonomic, and genetic approaches can be integrated in order to (i) learn about crop history, (ii) identify priorities for crop development, and (iii) protect wild crop relatives and their habitats.

Note: Anyone attending IBC and working with Araceae is herewith invited to give a short presentation at this workshop. Please contact: Peter Matthews (researchcooperative at gmail dot com).

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Economic Aroids Workshop, IBC 2017


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