TCS 2007 Grants

The Chamal (Dioon edule Lindl.) in the State of San Luis Potosí

Dr. Laura Yáñez-Espinosa, Javier Fortanelli Martínez &
Erika García Chávez

Instituto de Investigación de Zonas Desérticas

San Luis Potosí, Mexico


  • Widely distributed in Huasteca zone, San Luis Potosi, Mexico; habitat has deteriorated and pops. reduced from crops and cattle breeding

  • Seeds and young leaves kill cattle, but for indigenous xi’oi people, chamal harvest has major role in diet as substitute for maize

  • Xi’oi people commonly eat boiled/ground seeds, even though “fatal consequences” when not well cooked are known

  • Multidisciplinary research approach

Proposal Objectives

  • Study localities; characterize habitat; conduct population structure analysis

  • Ethnobotanical exploration with male key informants and interviews with housewives

  • Study neurotoxic effects in experimental tests with rats in the laboratory

Click here for full proposal


Below is a link (and citation) to a 2009 Cycad Newsletter article based on this TCS-supported research:

Yáñez-Espinosa, L. 2009. Chamal (Dioon edule Lindl.) in the State of San Luis Potosí, México. Cycad Newsletter 32(2/3):18-21.

In addition to the progress reports and newsletter article, Dr. Yáñez-Espinosa also provided us with PDF copies of two B.Sc. thesis documents (written in Spanish) that were also supported, in part, by grant funding from TCS. Click below to download or read them:

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This page was updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011.