Cassava genome mapped to help boost its qualities
Published in May 2016, an article on SciDevNet describes how researchers at IITA in Kneya have sequenced the genome of the cassava, enabling them to better understand the genetic basis the plant’s disease resistance, quality and crop maturity. The researchers identified the order of the genetic letters of 53 cultivated and wild cassava plant materials from Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania. They also sequenced five cassava-related plants such as M. glaziovii and identified the genetic components of 268 African cassava varieties. The study demonstrates the genetic relationships among the various species, including cultivated cassava, its wild relatives and others in the secondary or even tertiary gene pool. However, it does not link the genes with any economically important traits such as disease resistance, nutritional quality or agronomic traits.