NEXTGEN Cassava

NEXTGEN Cassava

NEXTGEN Cassava will invest in human and infrastructure capacity at partner breeding programs; develop methods to increase flowering and seed set in cassava; create a database (www.cassavabase.org) centralizing information tracking, genotypic and phenotypic data, and Genomic Selection prediction analyses; enhance cassava germplasm exchange between Latin American and Africa; and support the establishment of a biotechnology/biosafety outreach and training hub at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Uganda.

At a Glance

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Organization Type

  • Scientific/ Research and Development

Contact

NEXTGEN Cassava
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850

T : 607.319.6812
E : hat36@cornell.edu

Organization Mission

At the Plant and Animal Genomes conference in 2011, cassava breeders and researchers were consulted on how they would 're-imagine' cassava breeding. What would they change to enhance cassava breeding?

NEXTGEN Cassava emerged from this consultation, to address the action points identified:

  • Shorten the cassava breeding cycle. Cassava breeding is a lengthy process- it can take up to a decade to release new varieties. Shorter breeding cycles would allow breeders to respond to changing breeding targets, and meet the demands of smallholder farmers.
  • Improve cassava flowering and seed set. Many cassava genotypes flower poorly, if at all. If they do not flower, they cannot be used in crossing. So, some very promising cassava lines cannot then be used in breeding programs. Improved flowering and seed set would allow breeders to fully mobilize the genetic resources in their cassava breeding programs.
  • Enable greater germplasm exchange. Cassava originates from Latin America. The genetic diversity present at the center of origin could provide cassava breeders in Africa with access to genetic resources to diversify their breeding programs and meet their breeding goals. Facilitating greater germplasm exchange would have great impact on generating new cassava varieties for Africa.
  • Improve information exchange. Increasing research attention to cassava has resulted in a greater number of projects producing large quantities of phenotypic and genotypic information. A platform to facilitate communication and data exchange between cassava researchers and breeders would greatly help to harmonize cassava research across the globe.