Caister Academic Press

Development and delivery of transgenic virus-resistant cassava in East Africa

Henry Wagaba, Andrew Kiggundu and Nigel Taylor
from: Genes, Genetics and Transgenics for Virus Resistance in Plants (Edited by: Basavaprabhu L. Patil). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2018) Pages: 159-176.


Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a major staple food crop in sub-Saharan Africa where it provides food security and income to rural communities. The two virus diseases cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) constrain cassava production in these regions. RNA interference (RNAi) technology has been developed to address both diseases and has been shown to be effective in greenhouse and field studies. Field trials in Uganda and Kenya have demonstrated the potential of this technology to increase usable storage root yields greater than 50-fold under high CBSD pressure. This resistance is maintained across the cropping cycle and geographic locations from central Uganda to coastal Kenya, indicating its potential to help secure cassava production in East Africa. This review describes advances made in applying transgenic approaches to control CBSD and CMD and the challenges faced in delivering the improved planting materials to benefit cassava farmers in East Africa read more ...
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