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Delaware State professor works toward disease-resistant crops

Published on November 20, 2012 3:01AM

Last changed on November 20, 2012 4:51AM

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- A Delaware State University professor is joining a global effort to genetically modify plants to resist diseases.

The News Journal (http://delonline.us/S9gnFQ ) reports Professor Vincent Fondong has received a $1 million grant through the National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He's working to produce a crop called cassava. It's a root vegetable that's similar to a sweet potato. If Fondong's idea works, it could help secure a more reliable food source for sub-Saharan Africa.

Fondong says many countries in the region rely on cassava. But the plant is attacked by 10 different viruses.

Fondong is working to stop such viruses from replicating. He is inserting the virus genes into the plant's DNA so that the virus will recognize its own genetic material and stop spreading.


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

Copyright 2012 The AP.


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