Review and Perspectives

Biochemical Pathways of Starch Synthesis in Cassava: Genetic Bases and Breeding Implications  

Jiong Fu
Hainan Institute of Troppical Agricultural Resources (HITAR), Sanya, 572025, Hainan, China
Author    Correspondence author
Plant Gene and Trait, 2024, Vol. 15, No. 3   
Received: 01 Mar., 2024    Accepted: 05 Apr., 2024    Published: 08 May, 2024
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This systematic review aims to integrate current knowledge on the biochemical pathways of starch synthesis in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), elucidate the genetic bases underlying these processes, and discuss the implications for breeding programs aimed at improving cassava starch quality. Recent studies have identified a total of 45 genes involved in starch biosynthesis in cassava, including key enzymes such as ADPG pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), granule bound starch synthase (GBSS), and starch branching enzyme (SBE). These genes play crucial roles in determining the content and structure of amylose and amylopectin, which are vital for the starch's unique properties in food processing and industrial applications. Additionally, 110 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with starch content and pasting properties have been identified, offering valuable markers for breeding efforts. Comparative genomic analyses have revealed positive selection for genes related to photosynthesis and starch accumulation, as well as negative selection for genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation in cultivated cassava varieties. Furthermore, the reconstructed metabolic pathway of starch biosynthesis in cassava provides a framework for integrating omics data, which has demonstrated distinct activities of the pathway at different stages of root development. The findings from this review highlight the significant progress made in understanding the genetic and biochemical aspects of starch synthesis in cassava. These advancements not only contribute to the fundamental knowledge of cassava biology but also have the potential to significantly impact breeding programs by providing molecular tools and insights for the development of cassava varieties with improved starch quality.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz); Starch synthesis; Biochemical pathways; Genetic variation; Breeding; Quantitative trait loci (QTLs); Gene expression
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. Cassava ( Manihot esculenta Crantz)
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. Breeding
. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs)
. Gene expression
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