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Agrobiodiversity / / Chinese scientists on a cassava fact-finding mission

Chinese scientists on a cassava fact-finding mission

catas_visit_2A team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) visited CIAT headquarters in early May to explore future possibilities for collaborative cassava research.

Joe Tohme, director of CIAT’s Agrobiodiversity Research Area, opened the visit with a brief overview of the Center and its recent accomplishments in cassava research. He highlighted the work of our genetic transformation platform – involving the introduction of foreign genes into plant cells to improve yield potential or stress tolerance – as well as advances in phenomics – involving the use of rapid and simple quantitative methods to understand plant growth and development – and in genomics, which deals with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genes.

Jiaming Zhang, professor of metabolism engineering for bio-energy at the CATAS Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology (ITBB), presented an overview of CATAS initiatives and accomplishments in various crop and fruit research programs.

In a visit to CLAYUCA Corporation (a cassava development network operating from Center headquarters in Colombia), the CATAS group discussed diverse industrial uses of the crop. They then undertook an intensive 5-day fact-finding mission, organized by CLAYUCA, during which they visited three contrasting cassava-production regions: the Andean mountains, dry coastal areas, and tropical savannas. In each region, the CATAS group met farmers, technicians from local institutions, and university professors.

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  • Reinhardt Howeler: Thanks, Keith. It was a pleasure writing this book as it brought back so many good memories of working with cassava, both in Latin America and in Asia. I was lucky that the Nippon Foundation suggested that I write this book and financed its publication. They also wanted a simplified version for farmers and extension workers that could be translated into various languages. The English version of this new book is now going to press in Hanoi, while the Khmer and Vietnamese translations are also ready for printing and the Thai and Chinese translations are still being worked on. In case you are interested in the English version, let me know. My email address is still And let me know where you are working now and what you are doing. Reinhardt
  • Peter de Vroome: Great invention! Could be very usefull in our research in fast detecting CFSD in our planting material. Is this kit already for sale? Peter de Vroome phytopathologist Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (C.E.L.O.S.)
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  • Keith Fuglie: An impressive publication! Reinhardt Howeler has done an incredible job of summarizing lessons from nearly 30 years of work on cassava improvement in Asia. This very successful collaboration between CIAT and national research programs demonstrates what can be achieved through modest but persistent investment in agricultural research, even with a relatively neglected crop grown primarily by poor farm families in marginal environments.
  • Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect ve...: […] Jeff Stuart, an insect molecular geneticist from Purdue University, USA, is bringing new ideas to unravel the genetic secrets of insect vectors of crop virus diseases (RT @CGIAR: News: Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect vectors of crop virus...  […]
  • Kellan: i am also working on ppd on cassava. can you please help me find find a suitable protocol to analyse ppd.
  • ALI SALEM IBRAHIM: Hi we looking to start collaborations with ciat center if it,s possible.
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