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The future of cassava in the era of biotechnology in Southern Africa
Thursday, 2023/09/21 | 08:13:24

Sarah OtunAinoa EscrichIkechukwu AchilonuMolemi RauwaneJordy Alexis Lerma-EscaleraJosé Rubén Morones-RamírezLeonardo Rios-Solis

Crit Rev Biotechnol.; 2023 Jun; 43(4):594-612. doi: 10.1080/07388551.2022.2048791.


Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is a major staple food and the world's fourth source of calories. Biotechnological contributions to enhancing this crop, its advances, and present issues must be assessed regularly. Functional genomics, genomic-assisted breeding, molecular tools, and genome editing technologies, among other biotechnological approaches, have helped improve the potential of economically important crops like cassava by addressing some of its significant constraints, such as nutrient deficiency, toxicity, poor starch quality, disease susceptibility, low yield capacity, and postharvest deterioration. However, the development, improvement, and subsequent acceptance of the improved cultivars have been challenging and have required holistic approaches to solving them. This article provides an update of trends and gaps in cassava biotechnology, reviewing the relevant strategies used to improve cassava crops and highlighting the potential risk and acceptability of improved cultivars in Southern Africa.


See https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07388551.2022.2048791


Figure 3. CRISPRi to engineer resistance to the African cassava mosaic virus. The CRISPRi is a promising tool to generate resistance to different cassava viruses like the African cassava mosaic virus. This technique consists of the design of a gRNA that binds with the virus’ genome and a dCas. However, the studies published using this technique report an inefficient resistance.


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