Submitted to: Plant Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Anderson, J.V., Delseny, M., Fregene, M.A., Jorge, V., Mba, C., Lopez, C., Restrepo, S., Soto, M., Piegu, B., Verdier, V., Cooke, R., Tohme, J., Horvath, D.P. 2004. An EST resource for cassava and other species of Euphorbiaceae. Plant Molecular Biology. 56:527-539. Interpretive Summary: Cassava is a major source of calories for over 600 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. As a result, losses in yields to cassava farmers due to disease, drought, poor soils, and post-harvest deterioration have a serious impact on worldwide food supplies. To overcome these yield-limiting obstacles, sciences are using modern genetic approaches to learn more about important genetic characteristics that limit growth and development. Interestingly, cassava belongs to the plant family Euphorbiaceae that includes other agronomically important species such as rubber tree, castor bean, poinsettia, and leafy spurge. Thus, genetic resources identified in cassava might also be helpful for studying growth and developmental processes in crops and undesirable species within this plant family. This report describes the genetic resources being developed for the Euphorbiaceae family and the potential for its use in identifying important characteristics related to growth and development.
Technical Abstract: Cassava (Manihot esuculenta) is a major food staple for over 600 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Major losses in yield result from biotic and abiotic stresses that include diseases such as Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Bacterial Blight (CBB), drought, and acid soils. Additional losses also occur from deterioration during the post-harvest storage of roots. To help cassava breeders overcome these obstacles, the scientific community has turned to modern genomics approaches for identifying key genetic characteristics associated with resistance to these yield-limiting factors. One approach for developing a genomics program requires the development of ESTs (expressed sequence tags). To date, nearly 23,000 ESTs have been developed from various cassava tissues, and genotypes. Preliminary analysis indicates that existing EST resources contain at least 6,000-7,000 unigenes. Data presented in this report indicate that the cassava ESTs will be a valuable resource for the study of genetic diversity, stress resistance, and growth and development, not only in cassava, but also other members of the Euphorbiaceae family.