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ARS Home » Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation » Unpublished Old OIRP Pages » ARS International Action - USAID BFS - ARS Whitefly Genome, August 2014


Credit: FAO

Cassava Harvest, credit: FAO


USAID Bureau of Food Security and ARS Whitefly Genome Project Addressed Cassava Brown Streak Virus

USAID-Bureau of Food Security and ARS have agreed in principle to support a whitefly genome project to assist in addressing a particularly critical cassava disease, Cassava Brown Streak Virus, which is vectored by white fly. With funding provided by USAID through the ARS-PASA agreement, this project took advantage of USDA's focus on the i5K initiative which seeks to develop the genomes of 5000 insects. Drs. Kai Shu Ling, Vegetable Research Lab (Charleston), William Wintermantel, Crop Improvement and Protection Research (Salinas), and Wayne Hunter, Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research (Ft. Pierce), accompanied by Dr. Joseph Huesing, USAID-ARS PASA, met with Drs. James Legg and Leena Tripathi of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Tanzania in October to develop a plan to address the whitefly genome in consideration of the biotype present in East Africa currently causing the virus transmission in cassava. This genomic data aided efforts to address virus transmission prevention, insect prevention or crop resistance using RNAi approaches. This will be at least a three year effort starting immediately.

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