Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Demonstrate Control of Devastating Cassava Virus in Africa

08.08.2012
International partnership makes progress to develop product for African farmers

An international research collaboration recently demonstrated progress in protecting cassava against cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), a serious virus disease, in a confined field trial in Uganda using an RNA interference technology.

The field trial was planted in November 2010 following approval by the National Biosafety Committee of Uganda. The plants were harvested in November 2011 and results were published in the August 1, 2012 issue of the journal Molecular Plant Pathology . These results point researchers in the right direction as they develop virus-resistant cassava varieties preferred by farmers in Eastern Africa.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 250 million people derive at least 25 percent of their daily calorie intake from the starchy cassava tuberous roots. In the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi and Malawi, 63 percent of households also sell cassava products to earn income for their families. It is estimated that in the next 15 years, cassava will constitute the second most important source of income for more than 125 million people in East Africa.

Cassava brown streak disease is a major problem because it destroys the edible tuberous roots, but visual symptoms on leaves and stems are sometimes difficult to detect. This means unexpected losses for farmers at harvest, with potential devastating impact on families that depend on cassava for food security. Since farmers preserve cassava cuttings in the fields for the next crop, the disease is passed on to the next growing season. Around the Lake Victoria region in Uganda, where an epidemic of the disease is rapidly spreading, many farmers have been forced to abandon the cultivation of cassava. The urgency posed by this disease demands that appropriate tools be employed and interventions applied to solve the problem.

Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and two partner institutions in Africa, the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda (NaCRRI) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), are working to solve the problem for African farmers through a collaborative project called Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA). The VIRCA project has been developing cassava with enhanced resistance to cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) and cassava mosaic disease (CMD).

“The collaboration is showing progress toward helping smallholder farmers combat these devastating diseases,” said Dr. Anton Bua, the Ugandan Cassava Research Team Leader in charge of field trials and communication for the project in East Africa.

“In Uganda, we eat cassava two or three times per day. Restoring and improving cassava productivity will be critical to the continued economic progress of the country and the region,” said Dr. Titus Alicai, project lead, National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI).
Experts with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have expressed concern that CBSD is on the verge of becoming an epidemic in parts of Africa. A press release issued by the FAO last November called for an urgent increase in funding, research, training, surveillance and other measures to help African farmers and breeders. The concern is strong because cassava contributes to household incomes and food security more than any other single crop in some countries.

VIRCA is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard Buffett Foundation, the Monsanto Fund and USAID from the American People.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center invites you to visit its website, www.danforthcenter.org, featuring interactive information on the Center scientists, news, education outreach and “Roots & Shoots” blog help keep visitors up to date with Center’s current operations and areas of research.
For additional information, contact:
Karla Roeber, (314) 587-1231
kroeber@danforthcenter.org
Melanie Bernds, (314) 587-1647
mbernds@danforthcenter.org

Melanie Bernds | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.danforthcenter.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Tag it EASI – a new method for accurate protein analysis
20.06.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries
19.06.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>