Wild potatoes (A. Salas/CIP)

Scientists call for action to preserve potato wild relatives

Apr 29, 2015 Veronique Durroux

Crop wild relatives are wild plant species that share a common ancestor with cultivated crops. They retain a level of genetic diversity that makes them an invaluable source of raw material for crop improvement. However, their availability for research purposes depends on the coverage and state of the germplasm collections maintained by genebanks. Large numbers […]

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Anne Njoroge

Towards an early warning system for late blight in East Africa

Apr 27, 2015 Veronique Durroux

In 2012 young researcher Anne Njoroge started her work with the population structure of Phytophthora infestans in East African countries.  Phytophthora infestans is the highly destructive pathogen that causes late blight in potato, and Anne discovered that the formerly identified US-1 strain or “lineage” of the pathogen had been completely displaced by a new strain […]

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Conservation of crop wild relatives of sweetpotato is key to crop improvement

Apr 21, 2015 Veronique Durroux

Grown in more than 114 countries worldwide, sweetpotatoes are an important staple crop particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and East and Southeast Asia. They have increasingly been the focus of attention of crop breeding efforts to enhance food security in food-insecure regions of Africa. Orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, in particular, show promise as a solution to vitamin A-deficiency, […]

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First World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops will draw international crowd of scientists to Southern China

Apr 10, 2015 Veronique Durroux

Hundreds of the world’s top experts on potato, cassava, sweetpotato, yam and other root crops will gather in the city of Nanning, located in China´s southern province of Guangxi, October 5-10 for the First World Congress on Root and Tuber Crops. The event is the result of a collaboration between the International Society for Tropical […]

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Exploring banana diversity with the enhanced Musa germplasm information system

Mar 26, 2015 Veronique Durroux

The Musa Germplasm Information System (MGIS), the most extensive source of documentation on banana genetic resources, is now available on a new, improved online platform. “The evolution of the website since it was made available in 2003 was mostly conducted by Bioversity staff based in Montpellier, France,” explained Max Ruas, the data manager. “However, nothing […]

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RTB in the Media

Uganda selected as focus for project on root crops, bananas

Feb 4, 2015 Veronique Durroux

Uganda is hosting a $4m (Shs11.4b) project that will expand the utilisation of roots, tubers and bananas and reduce their post harvest losses. The three-year European Union (EU) funded project is implemented by the CGIAR Research Programme on Roots, Tubers and Bananas. It focus on cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes. Publishing date: 2015-02-04 […]

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Project seeks to add value to roots, tubers and bananas

Jan 19, 2015 Veronique Durroux

Researchers are implementing a new project to explore increased use of roots, tubers and bananas (RTBs) and technologies to reduce their postharvest losses in Uganda. A workshop to highlight the research activities to be undertaken was organised last month (1-3 December) in Ntinda, Uganda. The European Union is funding the US$4 million, three-year project that […]

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Scientists embark on fighting deadly banana disease

Jan 14, 2015 Veronique Durroux

A group of scientists has embarked on a strategy to prevent the spread of a deadly banana fungal disease following an outbreak in Mozambique. Tropical race 4 (TR4), a strain of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum, and responsible for a deadly banana wilt disease, was detected last year on a 1,500-hectare farm in Mozambique that grows […]

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