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Resistance to mosaic disease in cassava explained

Image Cassava
The plant on the left is infected by DNA geneminiviruses that cause cassava mosaic disease, while the plant on the right is healthy. (Photograph: Wilhelm Gruissem / ETH Zurich)

Researchers from ETH Zurich, the United States and Uganda have identified the gene responsible for resistance in certain cassava cultivars against the devastating cassava mosaic disease. This is an important step for breeding virus-​resistant cassava varieties.

By pinning down the gene responsible for what is known as CMD2 resistance, the researchers are playing an important part in enhancing food security in tropical and subtropical regions. The gene they have identified now serves as a genetic marker for breeders, indicating whether or not the resistance is present in their plants.

ETH News