Daniel Rokhsar leads study to improve cassava production

Monday, April 18, 2016

A new analysis of the genetic diversity of cassava will help improve strategies for breeding disease resistance and climate tolerance into the root crop, a staple and major source of calories for a billion people worldwide.

Published online April 18 in Nature Biotechnology, the UC Berkeley-led project involved scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and institutes in Africa, Australia, the United States and the Pacific Islands.

In the paper, the team, led by Daniel Rokhsar, a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and of physics, compared the cassava reference genome to the genomes of its relatives: the castor bean, rubber tree, Ceara rubber and 53 cultivated and wild cassava varieties from around the world.

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Robert Sanders
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