Is there more than one TME 419 cassava?

The TME 419 cassava that I Nibbled about earlier today has been making quite a splash in both DR Congo and Nigeria. Question is, is it TME 419?

Those who know about such things will recognize TME as an IITA genebank number. And indeed, if you look it up either on Genesys or IITA’s genebank database, you land on a Togolese landrace called Gbazekoute. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look anything like the TME 419 described in IITA’s Improved Cassava Variety Handbook.1 There, TME 419 is indeed a Togolese landrace, but with the following characteristics:2

Compare that with the description in the IITA database. Is the shape of the leaf’s central lobe lanceolate or elliptic? Is there or is there not pigmentation on the petiole? Is the colour of the root pulp white/cream or yellow? And does it have a purple cortex or not? A discrepancy in one of these descriptors I might have understood, but it is clear to me that we’re talking here about quite different cassavas.

So I ask IITA: which one is the real TME 419? I mean the one making news in DR Congo and Nigeria.

  1. But you wont be able to download it from there. What you have to do is go to the search page, and insert the title of the publication, and then click on the little PDF icon. Trust me, I looked for half an hour for a way to link to the actual PDF, and there just isn’t one. []
  2. It’s on page 88. []

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