Morag Ferguson is thrilled with the results of a recent genotyping study. It seems that the cassava landraces she has been working on from South, East and Central Africa are pretty unique. The genetic diversity maps show this specific group of landraces branching off clearly in isolation from the cassava found elsewhere in Africa, or the world for that matter.
Morag, a molecular geneticist based at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s (IITA) Nairobi office, recognizes the potential value of such unique diversity to breeding. It makes sense to conserve the landraces at IITA’s Genetic Resources Centre in Ibadan, Nigeria. But transporting that cassava germplasm from the east to west of Africa presents a major hurdle because of a devastating disease found in East African cassava. Read more