Assessing Diversity in Cassava through the Application of Metabolomics
Poster Jan 18, 2016
Margit Drapala, Elisabete Carvalhoa, Laura Perez-Fonsa, Elliott Pricea, L. Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalleb, Paul D. Frasera
Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Crantz is one of the most important root crops worldwide, providing a staple food source for over 700 million people in Africa, Asia and South America (www.faostat.fao.org). Despite its widespread use better varieties with improved tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, enhanced nutritional properties, improved post-harvest properties and high yields/productivity are required urgently to address food security needs. Unlike other crops (e.g. tomato) the tools and resources necessary for the rapid and rational development of new varieties are not available in Cassava.
Recently, the sequencing of Cassava genomes has provided the impetus for genomic/marker based breeding.
Metabolomics plays a major role in augmenting modern breeding programs. This omic technique has the ability to determine small molecules (metabolites) which represent the end-point in cellular metabolism/regulation. In the present study metabolomic platforms have been established for Cassava and used to assess the biodiversity present in Cassava germplasm collections and elucidate underlying biochemical mechanisms associated with traits of interest.