Production of Virus-free Cassava through Hot Water Therapy and Two rounds of MeristemTip Culture

Cassava genetic resources are highly threatened by devastating viral diseases. It is therefore important to conserve the specifically farmer-preferred landraces/cultivars that are highly susceptible. The study assessed the efficiency of hot water therapy and meristem tip culture techniques in the elimination of cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) causal viruses. Stems of symptomatic cassava genotypes confirmed infected with cassava brown streak viruses (CBSV) and cassava mosaic viruses (CMV) were subjected to hot water therapy at varying temperatures (25°C—60°C) followed by two rounds of meristem tip culture (MTC). Data on sprouting in the screen house and response in vitro were recorded and weaned plants were indexed for CMV and CBSV. The results indicated 100% elimination of CMV and a significant reduction in the viral load of CBSV. Thus, these techniques could be integrated into the cassava conservation strategy, for sustainable management of cassava genetic resources.
Cassava brown streak disease; cassava mosaic disease; Manihot esculenta; thermotherapy; cassava genetic resources
Nakabonge, G., Nangonzi, R., Tumwebaze, B. S., Kazibwe, A., Samukoya, C., & Baguma, Y. (2020). Production of virus-free cassava through hot water therapy and two rounds of meristem tip culture. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 6(1), 1800923.