Improved and practical crop breeding tools are required to meet the increasing demands of a growing global population and to overcome the sudden and variable stresses, made worse, by climate change. This project brings together researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Iowa State University to develop an efficient, robust genome engineering toolkit that can be used to speed the generation of resilient crops adapted to a changing environment. Reproductive barriers are a major bottleneck that limits the genetic diversity available for crop improvement.
Yam is a major source of dietary starch for smallholder farm families in many tropical and subtropical countries. Despite its global importance, use of modern genomics tools that can facilitate our fundamental understanding of how to improve the productivity and nutritional quality of the crop has lagged behind that of other major crops. The overall goal of this proposed project, therefore, is to establish genomeenabled platforms for yam.