Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Scientists Gear Up To Decode Cassava Genome

Efforts to sequence the genome of cassava, a staple food for millions of people worldwide, could yield the genetic keys to unlocking new traits for improved yield, more protein and even novel industrial applications--like putting fuel in the gas tank.

That's the hope of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists James Anderson and David Horvath, members of a 10-institute team that will sequence and annotate the cassava genome starting this fall.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute is providing funding and technical assistance.Anderson and Horvath, both with the ARS Plant Science Research Unit in Fargo, N.D., envision comparing cassava's genome with that of leafy spurge, a close relative that's an nvasive perennial weed in 35 states.

Key differences resulting from such comparison could foster new ways of increasing cassava's stress tolerance and disrupting leafy spurge's shoot growth. Genomic information from cassava could also expedite research to re-establish castor bean, another close relative, as a domestic source of industrial oil, minus the toxin ricin.Globally, the benefits of cassava genome sequencing could materialize as new higher-yielding or more pest- and disease-resistant cultivars.

Of particular interest is coaxing more protein from cassava to better supplement the dietary needs of more than 600 million people in Asia, Africa and Latin America who rely on the crop as a main source of calories.

On the industrial front, ratcheting up cassava\'s starch production under a wider range of conditions could set the stage for developing countries to use the crop for making fuel ethanol. Indeed, cassava can maintain high productivity under conditions that cause other crops to fail, including corn, whose starch costs more.

Together with principal investigator Claude Fauquet of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo., Anderson is assisting with the examination of 25 different cassava cultivars to determine which are best suited to the first stage of sequencing. This will cover a portion of cassava's total genome--500 megabase pairs--with the rest to follow, pending a successful outcome.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture\'s chief scientific research agency.___________________________________________* This is one of the news reports that ARS Information distributes to subscribers on weekdays.* Start, stop or change an e-mail subscription at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/subscribe.htm* NewsService@ars.usda.gov www.ars.usda.gov/news* Phone (301) 504-1638 fax (301) 504-1486",0]

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AGRI-INFO/SEPTEMBER 6, 2006



TITLE: SCIENTISTS GEAR UP TO DECODE CASSAVA GENOME


ALAM BA NINYO NA TODO TUTOK NGAYON ANG MGA SIYENTISTA SA DECODING NG GENOME NG CASSAVA O KAMOTENG KAHOY?

ALAM NAMAN NATIN NA ANG CASSAVA AY SIYANG NAGSISILBING STAPLE FOOD SA MILYUN MILYUNG KATAO SA BUONG MUNDO AT ANG GENE SEQUENCING DITO AY SIYANG MAGSISILBING SUSI PARA MATUKLASAN PA ANG MGA BAGONG KATANGIAN PARA MAPAGANDA PA ANG ANI O PRODUKSIYON NG KAMOTENG KAHOY.

BUKOD SA PAGIGING PAGKAIN, UMAASA RIN ANG MGA EKSPERTO NA MAPAPAKINABANGAN DIN NG HUSTO ANG CASSAVA SA TAGLAY NITONG PROTINA AT MAGING SA INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS TULAD NG GASOLINA SA MGA SASAKYAN.

BUMUO NA NG SAMPU-KATAONG TEAM ANG USDA-AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE PARA MAISAILALIM SA GENE SEQUENCING ANG CASSAVA AT ANG GRUPONG ITO AY PINANGUNGUNAHAN NINA SCIENTISTS JAMES ANDERSON AT DAVID HORBATH.

UMAASA NAMAN ANG MGA EKSPERTO NA KAPAG NAISAKATUPARAN NILA NG LUBOS ANG GENE SEQUENCING NG CASSAVA, MATUTUKLASAN NILA ANG HIGH-YIELDING AT MAS PEST- AND DISEASE RESISTANT NA URI NG KAMOTENG KAHOY.

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