Journal article

Drought adversely affects tuber development and nutritional quality of the staple crop cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)

Rebecca Vandegeer, Rebecca E Miller, Melissa Bain, Roslyn M Gleadow, Timothy R Cavagnaro



Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is the staple food source for over 850million people worldwide. Cassava contains cyanogenic glucosides and can be toxic to humans, causing paralysing diseases such as konzo, and even death if not properly processed. Konzo epidemics are often associated with times of drought. This may be due to a greater reliance on cassava as it is drought tolerant, but it may also be due to an increase in cyanogenic glucosides. Episodic droughts are forecast to become more common in many cassava-growing regions. We therefore sought to quantify the effect of water-stress on both yield and cyanogenic glucoside concentration (CNc) in the developing tubers of cassava. Five-mon..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank J Howard Bradbury, ANU, for supplying the original cassava stem cuttings as well as technical and intellectual advice, Dr Anna Burns for advice and laboratory assistance and Dr Julie Cliff, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, for valuable insights and discussions. TRC also acknowledges the MRA for financial support.