Scientific Publication

Variation in crude protein content in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) roots

Cassava roots are perceived as having relatively low protein content compared with other sources of energy (such as maize and wheat). This perception is in part due to a deficient screening in protein content levels in different cassava germplasm. For the current article, information on protein content of several cassava clones, gathered for a period of about 10 years, has been consolidated. Roots from a total of 149 accessions from the germplasm collection at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) were analyzed for total crude protein content. For 140 clones the evaluations were based on two different root samples and independent quantifications. Results from eight clones were based on three samples, and only for one clone had four different estimations been made. Large differences in protein content (ranging from 0.95% to 6.42%) were observed in the sample analyzed. Results suggest that a considerable proportion of these differences are genetic in nature and therefore that there are excellent possibilities for exploiting these differences and further increasing them by traditional breeding methods