Dr Joe Tohme, Director of CIAT's crop research area, noted the significance of this partnership toward meeting the center's mission of alleviating hunger and poverty in the tropics through research on eco-efficient agriculture.
"This collaboration represents an unprecedented opportunity to boost cassava research and accelerate crop improvement for millions of smallholder farmers," he said. "This work will also help to establish the importance of cassava, giving it the recognition and research support that it rightly deserves."
The current initiative will increase scientists' understanding of the crop's evolution and distribution from its origins in the Americas to Africa and Asia, information necessary for breeders to seek new traits to adapt the crop to new production systems, new markets, and to climate change.
The combination of sequences from both wild as well as domesticated species will give researchers the opportunity to discover genomic regions and individual genes which have played a role in the domestication of cassava. Having whole genome sequences allows the exploration of genomic variations associated with different characteristics of interest. A large number of genomic sequences from a variety of genotypes for a given region will enhance marker-assisted breeding in cassava, and boost breeding activities to develop more desirable breeding lines in a shorter space of time.
Dr. Gengyun Zhang, Director of Life Science Division, BGI, noted, "Genetically improved cultivars are the key output of cassava breeding research. The rapid advance of genomics, especially large scale genome re-sequencing technology, will accelerate the improvement of cassava yield, quality and resistance to pests and diseases."
Benefits of Cassava Sequencing
Full genome sequencing of a broad array of genotypes will contribute immensely to the basic kn
|Contact: Jia Liu|