Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2008
Publication Date: 7/21/2008
Citation: Anderson, J.V. 2008. The Post-Genomic Era of Cassava. First Scientific Meeting of the Global Cassava Partnership (GCP-1), July 21-25, 2008. International Convention Center, Ghent, Belgium. Program #DD16; Abstract book p. 18.
Technical Abstract: The genomics era revolutionized our efficiency at gathering and disseminating scientific information required for advancing our understanding of plant biology. In the case of cassava, the genomics revolution has not kept pace with other staple food and fiber crops important to global economies. As a result, genomics research in cassava still holds the potential to unlock secretes about biological processes, ecology, and evolution that limit productivity in a crop which 1) impacts the lives of over 1 billion people, and 2) has tremendous potential to be developed into a stable feed stock for producing alternative energy. Several genomics-based programs (including computational, comparative, and functional) for cassava have been initiated to identify genetic traits, metabolic pathways, and signaling networks involved in resistance to disease, drought, nutrient deficiency, post-harvest deterioration, and yield. Several sequencing initiatives have resulted in accumulation of a publicly available dataset of at least 76,566 ESTs which yielded discovery of additional molecular markers (SNPs, SSRs, etc.), and development of molecular probes and microarrays. However likely, the most important initiative was the agreement by JGI-DOE to sequence the cassava genome. Complete sequencing of the cassava genome will provide the cassava community unique resources for designing future genomics studies to enhance our understanding of 1) basic gene functions and their affects on plant biodiversity, health, metabolism, and yield; 2) how products of these genes interact in signaling pathways and networks; and 3) most importantly, how this information can be used to benefit plant breeding and manipulation of plant growth and development.