Taking the genetic superhighway in crop breeding

adminAnnual Report 2015, Improving Crops0 Comments

Genetic improvement is considered the major contributor to crop productivity. Advances in biotechnology, such as the availability of whole genome sequences, high throughput genotyping and phenotyping tools, as well as data management, and analytical services, enable breeders to better understand the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits in crops and predict the breeding values of individual plants or lines in … Read More

Streamlining the release of improved maize and cowpea varieties in Africa

adminAnnual Report 2015, Improving Crops0 Comments

A good crop of maize. Photo by IITA. The benefits of improved varieties generated by research are realized only when these varieties are actually used and grown by farmers—the intended beneficiaries. However, the path from research farms to farmers’ fields is not as simple and straightforward as it may seem. Although the processes for approval and release of new varieties ... Read More

Genetically fortifying banana, enset, cassava, and yam against pests and diseases

adminAnnual Report 2015, Improving Crops0 Comments

Genetic engineering is one of the key techniques for improving crops particularly those that are vegetatively propagated or not amenable to conventional breeding. At IITA, the technique is being used for the improvement of crops that are economically important to Africa, such as banana and plantain (Musa sp.), cassava (Manihot esculenta), and yam (Dioscorea sp.). Genetic transformation platform for banana … Read More