Updated Jan 16, 2018

Computational Food Security

http://www.lauraboykinresearch.com/

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Snapshot

Stage 2: Research & Development

Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Cultivation & Tools

Agriculture and Cultivation & ToolsSEE LESS

Innovation Description

The cassava whitefly is responsible for vectoring the plant viruses that have caused two on-going and devastating pandemics, Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). Estimates for resulting production losses in nine East and Central African countries have been put as high as 47% and the areas affected are continuing to expand, resulting in hunger, recurrent famines and annual losses of more than US$1.25 billion. Since the 1990s, an unprecedented increase in cassava-whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, abundance has occurred in the cassava growing regions of East and Central Africa. The cassava whitefly is responsible for vectoring the plant viruses that have caused two on-going and devastating pandemics, Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). Estimates for resulting production losses in nine East and Central African countries have been put as high as 47% and the areas affected are continuing to expand, resulting in hunger, recurrent famines and annual losses of more than US$1.25 billion. The key driver for the spread of both pandemics is the significantly increased whitefly abundance, but the factor(s) responsible for this phenomenon remain undetermined. Laura uses genomics and high performance computing to study the speciation of whiteflies to ensure the farmers protect themselves from the correct whitefly species, ultimately increasing food security in the region.

Milestones

Sep 2015
Date Unknown
Launched