Barcodes to keep banana breeding on track

Banana breeding is complex and getting seed from crosses is challenging. A new digital system, the Banana Breeding Tracking Tool (BTracT) now helps breeders keep tabs on each plant and manage data and activities at different sites. Each banana plant gets its own barcode, which is scanned on the BTracT handheld device. The barcodes are used to electronically record data … Read More

Using network analysis to prevent seed-borne disease

Researchers have developed models to understand changing seed systems using network analysis. In Uganda and Southeast Asia, these models shed light on how pests and diseases spread through social networks, and provided insights on how to improve crop health (in Uganda and Southeast Asia). To ensure that healthy seed of improved varieties reaches farmers, Karen Garrett of the University of … Read More

Revolutionizing sweetpotato breeding by exploiting hybrid vigor

Genetic studies allow breeders to identify sweetpotatoes that are more genetically distant, in order to separate them into different groups. Crossing genetically distant parents from the separate groups leads to offspring that have much higher “hybrid vigor” or heterosis. In other words, the offspring are dramatically superior to the parents in key traits such as yield, yield stability, stress resistance … Read More

Tracking adoption of improved varieties of RTB crops in Asia

CIP social scientists met with agricultural experts from the top nine Asian potato- and sweetpotato- growing countries to estimate the adoption of improved potato and sweetpotato varieties. In these countries, 97% of the potato area is planted with improved varieties, and 19% of this land is in CIP-related varieties. For sweetpotatoes, 88% of the area is planted with improved varieties. … Read More