The lab’s research efforts concentrate on the varietal improvement, variety conservation and postharvest processing of sweet potato, potato and yam with an aim to enhance the competitiveness and overall output value of these root crops.
The lab has developed 73 sweet potato varieties, among which Tainung No. 57 and 66 are occupying more than 90% of the sweet potato cultivated area, making a significant impact on Taiwan’s sweet potato industry. Moreover, the lab has collected and is conserving more than 1,400 accessions of sweet potato germplasms, the largest collection in Southeast Asia, 168 accessions of potato, and 30 accessions of yam. They serve as the diverse sources of breeding materials and are used for international exchanges.
In addressing the threats posed by global food security, extreme climate and energy crunch, the lab’s research efforts will focus on: 1) selection of high yielding and high starch content fodder type sweet potato varieties; 2) breeding of sweet potato for flooding tolerance and drought tolerance to cope with extreme climate; 3) breeding of sweet potato varieties with high carotene content, high anthocyanin content and low sugar content; 4) selection of high-yielding table-type and processing-type potato varieties with disease and insect resistance and heat tolerance; 5) physiochemical properties of different sweet potato varieties for developing various processing opportunities; and 6) variety conservation of sweet potato, potato and yam.