White Guinea yam genome sequencing could help millions in Africa with staple food crop

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In Japan, researchers led by the Iwate Biotechnology Institute Research Center performed genome analysis of white Guinea yam (Dioscorea rotundata) to accelerate marker-assisted breeding of Guinea yam. In addition, their quantitative trait locus sequencing approach can be utilized in genetic studies of other outcrossing crops and organisms with highly heterozygous genomes.

Since root and tuber crops are a major food source in tropical Africa, the genomic analysis of orphan crops such as the white Guinea yam promotes efforts to improve food security and the sustainability of tropical agriculture. Researchers believe that the genome analyses and sex-linked marker development performed in this study should greatly accelerate marker-assisted breeding of Guinea yam.