Cassava study helps breeders

November 25, 2009

By hammersmith

[Source: Science Alert] – Scientists have sequenced the genome of the staple crop cassava, and say this should lead to the development of more virus-resistant and nutritious varieties.

The draft genome, of a single cassava variety, has pinpointed about 95 per cent of the genes and could accelerate breeding programmes.

The large roots of the cassava plant provide daily sustenance for more than 750 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. But the crop is susceptible to many viruses and is not very nutritious.

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