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More than 250 million Africans rely on the starchy root crop cassava (Manihot esculenta) as their staple source of calories. A typical cassava-based diet, however, provides less than 30% of the minimum daily requirement for protein and only 10%-20% of that for iron, zinc, and vitamin A. The BioCassava Plus (BC+) program has employed modern biotechnologies(More)
DNA geminiviruses are thought to be targets of RNA silencing. Here, we characterize small interfering (si) RNAs-the hallmarks of silencing-associated with Cabbage leaf curl begomovirus in Arabidopsis and African cassava mosaic begomovirus in Nicotiana benthamiana and cassava. We detected 21, 22 and 24 nt siRNAs of both polarities, derived from both the(More)
Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of friable embryogenic calli (FEC) is the most widely used method to generate transgenic cassava plants. However, this approach has proven to be time-consuming and can lead to changes in the morphology and quality of FEC, influencing regeneration capacity and plant health. Here we present a comprehensive, reliable and(More)
Recent progress in cassava transformation has allowed the robust production of transgenic cassava even under suboptimal plant tissue culture conditions. The transformation protocol has so far been used mostly for the cassava model cultivar 60444 because of its good regeneration capacity of embryogenic tissues. However, for deployment and adoption of(More)
African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) is a major contributor to cassava mosaic disease (CMD), the economically most important and devastating disease of cassava in Africa. We have developed transgenic cassava plants with increased ACMV resistance using improved antisense RNA technology by targeting the viral mRNAs of Rep (AC1), TrAP (AC2) and REn (AC3). Viral(More)
Expression of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) homologous to virus sequences can effectively interfere with RNA virus infection in plant cells by triggering RNA silencing. Here we applied this approach against a DNA virus, African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV), in its natural host cassava. Transgenic cassava plants were developed to express small interfering RNAs(More)
Cassava bacterial blight (CBB), incited by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam), is the most important bacterial disease of cassava, a staple food source for millions of people in developing countries. Here we present a widely applicable strategy for elucidating the virulence components of a pathogen population. We report Illumina-based draft genomes(More)
A reliable method for detection and quantitation of viruses associated with cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) is essential to determine their presence in material used for field propagation as well as for precise evaluation of CBSD resistance in the cassava germplasm. Quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) is a well-established method for precise quantitation of(More)
Cassava genetic transformation capacity is still mostly restricted to advanced laboratories in the USA, Europe and China; and its implementation and maintenance in African laboratories has remained scarce. The impact of transgenic technologies for genetic improvement of cassava will depend largely on the transfer of such capabilities to researchers in(More)
Knowledge and technology transfer to African laboratories and farmers is an important objective for achieving food security and sustainable crop production on the sub-Saharan African continent. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a vital source of calories for more than a billion people in developing countries, and its potential industrial use for starch(More)