Cassava genetic transformation and its application in breeding

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology
Jia LiuPeng Zhang


As a major source of food, cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important root crop in the tropics and subtropics of Africa and Latin America, and serves as raw material for the production of starches and bioethanol in tropical Asia. Cassava improvement through genetic engineering not only overcomes the high heterozygosity and serious trait separation that occurs in its traditional breeding, but also quickly achieves improved target traits. Since the first report on genetic transformation in cassava in 1996, the technology has gradually matured over almost 15 years of development and has overcome cassava genotype constraints, changing from mode cultivars to farmer-preferred ones. Significant progress has been made in terms of an increased resistance to pests and diseases, biofortification, and improved starch quality, building on the fundamental knowledge and technologies related to planting, nutrition, and the processing of this important food crop that has often been neglected. Therefore, cassava has great potential in food security and bioenergy development worldwide.


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