Knowledge for Development

Morphological, physiological and molecular characterisation of drought tolerance in cassava


Date: 29/10/2014


In this study multi­seasonal and locational field based trials were conducted in Kenya to identify drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible cassava genotypes. Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is inherently drought tolerant. Nevertheless, substantial genotypic variation exists for this characteristic. Field drought stress generally reduced cassava vegetative growth and productivity. In addition to other phenotypic parameters, storage root fresh weight was used as a primary criterion to discriminate between drought-tolerant and drought-susceptible genotypes. Charles Ochieng' Orek, researcher at ETH­Zurich, Switzerland, subsequently subjected the cassava gentoypes to further physiological and molecular categorisation under controlled water deficit assays. Categorisation of these morphological, physiological and molecular differences will establish an essential foundation for future development of drought-associated molecular markers for cassava.   

(Dr.Sc. thesis, ETH-Zurich, 2014)

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