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Integrated crop management strategies for root and tuber crops: strengthening national and regional capacities in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga

This project will help the ACIAR Pacific-ICM program (PC/2010/090) to build capacity in integrated crop management. The project will strengthen national agencies and regional organisations' capacity to conduct root crop research and development, and to apply research outputs by implementing ICM strategies.
Yams (Dioscorea spp.) make an important contribution to food security in the Pacific islands. The diversity of yams held in genebanks could increase the resilience of food systems but badnavirus infections, as indicated by 'virus indexing' procedures, prevent exchanges of this material. This project's research suggests that indexing tests often provide 'false positives' (detecting fragments of the virus that cannot replicate and cause disease). Better understanding of the virus genome and better tests based on this knowledge will allow yam diversity to be safely exchanged.