Cassava is one of the most important crops in the tropics, feeding half a billion people in more than 80 countries. Cassava bacterial blight (CBB) is a devastating disease that causes crop losses worldwide. Pioneering research led by Rebecca Bart, PhD, member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and her collaborators at the University of California at Los Angeles and University of Hawaii at Manoa demonstrated that a new technology, epigenome editing, can reduce CBB symptoms in cassava plants while maintaining normal growth and development. These findings will not only increase cassava resistance to CBB, with the potential to improve yields for farmers but also lay the groundwork for using epigenome editing to improve other crops. Their work, Improving cassava bacterial blight resistance by editing the epigenome, was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.READ MORE