Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Research Project #439605

Research Project: VIRCA Plus: Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus Iron and Zinc Enhancements

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-001-032-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

The primary objectives of this research are the development of two cassava products (improved cultivars), one targeted for East Africa and one for Nigeria. The East Africa product will deliver cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) viral resistance in East African farmer-preferred cassava cultivars to combat the current CBSD epidemic. The West Africa product provides CBSD viral resistance with enhanced bioavailable micronutrient minerals (iron and zinc).

Products will be developed by two methods: conventional breeding using proven cassava brown streak disease resistance incorporated in transgenic plants already in-hand and via new transformations with the same RNAi technology. Field trials for event selection and agronomic performance evaluation will be conducted with collaborators in Puerto Rico, Nigeria, and Kenya.