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Cassava Sink Source

Understanding the metabolic processes limiting cassava yield and starch accumulation in storage roots.

01.09.16 - 30.09.21

In the Cassava Sink Source project we aim to understand the sink-source relationship of Cassava plants. Cassava is among the most important food crops in developing countries, and Nigeria is the biggest producer in the world. However, the yield in Nigeria lacks behind that of other cassava producing countries, and by focussing on studying the sink source relationship and the genetic space, these sink to source relations can be better engineered in transgenic cassava plants to increase the yield.
At the Forschungszentrum Jülich, our role in this project is to provide field phenotyping methods such as aerial imaging and photogrammetry for 3D canopy reconstruction. For aerial imaging we use an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to take images of the experimental field. These images are used to create a Structure from Motion, which provides insight in canopy structure and plant height.

We also use thermal imaging to assess the water status differences between different varieties, and pulse-amplitude modulated (PAM) photosynthesis yield analysis to measure differences in effective quantum yield of photosystem II in the field. These measurements contribute to finding relations between varies traits and their variability between varieties, to ultimately provide a better understanding of the sink-source relations in Cassava plants.