Ibrar Ahmed

Doctor of Philosophy, (Plant Biology)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Evolutionary dynamics of Taro

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Taro is an important root crop in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions of the world. Origin, domestication and dispersal of taro around the world have been the focus of very few comparative genetic studies. Untargeted plant sampling and lack of appropriate molecular markers have been the major factors responsible for this gap in understanding of the crop history. Mr. Ahmed has sequenced chloroplast genomes of two morphotypes of taro, and designed appropriate molecular markers for the chloroplast genome. This study has demonstrated significant statistical correlations among oligonucleotide repeats, substitutions, and insertion – deletion mutations for the first time in chloroplast genomes, and led to a hypothesis stating the importance of repeats in searching for the mutational hotspot regions in chloroplast genomes. The molecular markers designed were used to investigate phylogeographic history of taro. The study contributes a significant body of new knowledge to understand the origin, domestication and dispersal of this crop.   

Professor Peter Lockhart
Mr Peter Matthewson
Dr Austin R Ganley
Professor Michael Hendy