WHAT IS SPVDT?
The Sweet Potato Virus Detection Tool (SPVDT) project is working to identify and characterise sweet potato viruses threatening crops across East Africa using next generation sequencing tools. Sweet potato crops in East Africa are currently under threat from a range of viruses that, if left unchecked, could reduce yields and cause widespread hunger across the region. SPVDT aims to build a comprehensive understanding of these sweet potato viruses and work with new low-cost tools to more accurately diagnose viruses. This is intended to help increase crop yields and improve food security by effectively managing sweet potato viruses and increasing the production of virus free planting materials.
WHAT ARE ITS AIMS?
The project focuses on the following objectives:
- To conduct cross-sectional baseline surveys of sweet potato viruses in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania
- To detect, discover, identify and map novel viruses using the Illumina next-generation sequencing platform
- To develop a paper-based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of sweet potato viruses
- To contribute to human capacity development and training in virology and sweet potato virus diagnosis
WHO IS DELIVERING SPVDT?
- Gulu University
- Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute Hub (BecA – ILRI)
- Jomo Kenyatta University
- Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Biotechnology Centre
- Kibaha Sugarcane Research Institute (KSRI)
- Makerere University
- National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)
- Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB)
- Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI-Mikocheni)
- University of California, Riverside
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SPVDT:
Dr Richard Echodu
Project focus location(s):
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda