Seek-and-destroy protein for cassava viruses

Cassava is the second–most important food crop in Africa, a staple in South America, and a vital industrial crop grown by smallholders, particularly in SE Asia. Recent research at CIAT also established that cassava possesses exceptional ability to thrive in tough conditions, including the higher temperatures and drought conditions predicted as a consequence of climate change – meaning it could be a key fail-safe crop for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. But cassava has one enduring weakness – its vulnerability to pests and diseases, which can cripple production, and prevents millions of farmers maximising the crop’s potential. A new CIAT project to develop an advanced self-defence reflex for cassava could enable the crop to resist devastating attacks from some of its most damaging pathogens. Read article at: http://bit.ly/TFYFMb

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