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Investigating the role of PAL1 phenylpropanoid pathway genes in resistance to cassava brown streak virus

CMD symptoms Tanzania

Cassava is an important food security crop for over 450 million people in Africa and is affected by the cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). We have recently identified PAL1 gene of the phenylpropanoid pathway contributing to resistance to CBSD by the RNA-Seq analysis and transient gene knockdown assays by RNAi. However, five isoforms of PAL genes exist in cassava. In this project, we would like to further investigate the role of all PAL and other candidate genes for virus resistance in cassava by several approaches including further analysis of RNA-Seq data, gene expression and knock down assays.


Disciplines and Techniques
Project supervisor/s
Maruthi M N Gowda
Agriculture, Health and Environment (
University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute (NRI)
Paul Fraser
Plant Molecular Sciences (
Royal Holloway University of London
Transcriptional response of virus-infected cassava and identification of putative sources of resistance for cassava brown streak disease
Maruthi MN, Bouvaine S, Tufan HA, Mohammed IU, Hillocks RJ
PLoS ONE 9(5): e96642
Phenylpropanoid Pathway Engineering: An Emerging Approach towards Plant Defense
Yadav V, Wang Z, Wei C, Amo A, Ahmed B, Yang X, Zhang X.
Pathogens 9, 312
Characterization of brown streak virus–resistant cassava
Anjanappa RB, Mehta D, Maruthi MN, Kanju E, Gruissem W, Vanderschuren H.
MPMI 29 (7), 527–534
Metabolite database for root, tuber, and banana crops to facilitate modern breeding in understudied crops
Price, E.J., Drapal, M., Perez‐Fons, L., Amah, D., Bhattacharjee, R., Heider, B., Rouard, M., Swennen, R. Becerra Lopez-Lavalle, L.A. and Fraser, P.D.
Plant Journal, 101, 1258-1268
A new plant-based source of ketocarotenoids for aquaculture feed
Nogueira, N, Enfissi, EMA, Maria Martinez, M., Menard GNC, Driller, L, Eastmond, PJ., Schuch, W, Sandmann, G and Fraser, PD.
PNAS 114, 10876-10881