Researchers Breed Virus-Resistant Root Vegetable for Africa
Plant scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a new African cassava that is resistant to the two major virus diseases in Africa. Now they want to test the resistant cassava in Africa.
Cassava is one of the most important crops in tropical countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, plant viruses are threatening cassava production and with it the staple food of hundreds of millions of people. Under the leadership of Wilhelm Gruissem, professor of plant biotechnology, and his senior scientist Hervé Vanderschuren, researchers at ETH Zurich have used gene technology to develop a new cassava variety that is resistant to the feared cassava brown streak virus. The virus infects the edible starchy roots and turns them brown, which makes the roots unpalatable for consumers. The virus originated in East Africa and is threatening to spread to Central and West Africa.
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