CLC bio Collaborates with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center on the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Project
(CLC bio) Today CLC bio and the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology (ILTAB) at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, announced a collaboration to benefit the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa project (VIRCA), a partnership including researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, MO, the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda (NaCRRI) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). VIRCA is a humanitarian effort to develop and deliver farmer-preferred cassava varieties enhanced to resist serious plant virus diseases that are greatly reducing crop yield and increasing the threat of poverty and famine.
“Food shortages in the world will increase as global warming continues to rise, especially in Africa where drought likely will decrease the capacity to produce sufficient food. That’s why we need to demonstrate that using science and technology to improve agricultural production can make a difference for millions of people,” states Director of ILTAB at Danforth Plant
Science Center, Dr. Claude M. Fauquet, and adds, “We’re using CLC bio’s software to analyze and map siRNAs providing information required for accelerating development and identification of the elite cassava lines for testing under field conditions in East Africa.”
VIRCA is applying RNAi technology to enhance resistance to virus disease in cassava cultivars preferred by farmers. VIRCA’s goal is to develop, test and deliver virus resistant cassava to smallholder farmers with no royalty fees thereby helping to secure harvest of this important staple crop. READ MORE (includes video interview)