Biotech Updates

Experts Share Genetic Transformation Resource for Cassava

December 14, 2022

Three basic protocols with two alternate protocols were published by researchers from the United States and Brazil for the root crop, cassava. Sharing the protocols with fellow researchers and scientists will help advance genetic improvement of the crop to meet the required needs of farmers and consumers.

Cassava is predicted to remain central to future food and economic security in household farming and tropical agriculture. Transgenic and gene editing techniques to introduce desired traits into cassava have been done before, but the crop is still generally under-investigated. As a reference for further cassava studies, genetic transformation methods were published by scientists from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul. These methods have proven applications in different cassava genotypes and can produce transgenic and gene-edited plants for scientific investigation in laboratory, greenhouse, and field settings that are compliant with regulatory requirements for product development.

The protocols include:

  1. How to establish and micropropagate in vitro cassava plantlets, and an alternate protocol on how to establish in vitro cultures from field or greenhouse cuttings;
  2. The steps needed for genetic transformation in cassava model variety 60444, and an alternate protocol on modifying this method for use with other cultivars; and
  3. How to establish plants produced using the second protocol and its alternate protocol in soil in a greenhouse.

More details about the methodologies can be found in Current Protocols.

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