Shanghai Center for Cassava Biotechnology (SCCB) is a research unit of CEMPS, which originated from the joint "virtual laboratory" supported by Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIBS, CAS) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) in April 2007 in order to formalize and intensify bilateral collaborations, sharing of resources, development of common research interests and training of scientists in the field of cassava and sweetpotato biotechnology. Currently, SCCB provides a platform for the Group of Cassava and Sweetpotato Biotechnology at CEMPS and the Functional Laboratory for Genetic Improvement, Chinese Cassava Agrotechnology Research System, to introduce new technologies for molecular breeding, recent R&D achievements and cooperation with international and domestic partners.

By exploring cassava and sweet potato germplasms and focusing on key biological questions, our goals are to make cassava and sweet potato more productive, better sources of industrial applications and profitable to grow in marginal lands in order to guarantee food security and nutrition. We seek different biotechnological approaches for increased yield and starch production, enhanced disease and abiotic stress resistance, and improved nutrition in cassava and sweet potato. The systems for their genetic transformation and CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing, which have been well-established in our group, provide essential molecular tools to study the two vegetatively propagated root crops. Our major objectives include: (1) Better understanding of ‘Source-Sink’ relationship in root crops; (2) Development of the molecular regulatory models of storage root development and starch accumulation; (3) Investigation of the molecular stress responses and genetic improvement under cold, drought, infertile soils and post-harvest physiological deterioration; (4) Molecular breeding of novel cultivars with high yield, novel starches and/or better nutrition.


Ma Q*, Feng Y, Luo S, Cheng Lu, Tong W, Lu X, Li Y*, Zhang P* (2023) The aquaporin MePIP2;7 improves MeMGT9-mediated Mg2+ acquisition in cassava. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13552

Zou L#, Qi D#, Li S, Zhai M, Li Z, Guo X, Ruan M, Yu X, Zhao P, Li W, Zhang P, Ma Q*, Peng M*, Liao W* (2023) The cassava (Manihot-esculenta Crantz)'s nitrate transporter NPF4.5, expressed in seedling roots, involved in nitrate flux and osmotic stress. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 194: 122-133. 

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