2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Evaluation of Pathogen Resistance in Nutritionally Enhanced Cassava
Brittney B. Thomas
Dr. Timothy D. Walston, Faculty Mentor

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a widely cultivated and consumed plant throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America because of its high calorie content and weather tolerance. Nutritionally enhanced cassava plants, with added beta-carotene and protein, were engineered to solve malnutrition problems in areas where cassava roots are primary sources of diet. The plant was genetically analyzed for gene expression differences. Defense genes against pathogens were observed to be up-regulated in transgenic cassava. It was hypothesized that the transgenic, nutritionally enhanced plants' potentials for resistance would be greater than that of the wild-type. This experiment tested resistance to infection of geminivirus, African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV), in transgenic and control plants. The plants were challenged with viral DNA-coated gold particles and were evaluated for symptoms of infection and intensity of viral infection and replication. The transgenic plants evaluations concluded that they were more resistant to ACMV than the wild-type.

Keywords: cassava, Manihot esculenta, African cassava mosaic virus, nutrition, biology


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 17-3
Location: MG 1098
Time: 10:00

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