Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Drought adversely affects tuber development and nutritional quality of the staple crop cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz)

Rebecca Vandegeer A , Rebecca E. Miller A B , Melissa Bain A , Roslyn M. Gleadow A and Timothy R. Cavagnaro A B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia.

B The Australian Centre for Biodiversity, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: timothy.cavagnaro@monash.edu

Functional Plant Biology 40(2) 195-200 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP12179
Submitted: 20 June 2012  Accepted: 13 September 2012   Published: 29 October 2012

Abstract

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is the staple food source for over 850 million people worldwide. Cassava contains cyanogenic glucosides and can be toxic to humans, causing paralysing diseases such as konzo, and even death if not properly processed. Konzo epidemics are often associated with times of drought. This may be due to a greater reliance on cassava as it is drought tolerant, but it may also be due to an increase in cyanogenic glucosides. Episodic droughts are forecast to become more common in many cassava-growing regions. We therefore sought to quantify the effect of water-stress on both yield and cyanogenic glucoside concentration (CNc) in the developing tubers of cassava. Five-month-old plants were grown in a glasshouse and either well watered or droughted for 28 days. A subset of droughted plants was re-watered half way through the experiment. Droughted plants had 45% fewer leaves and lower tuber yield, by 83%, compared with well-watered plants. CNc was 2.9-fold higher in the young leaves of droughted plants, whereas CNc in tubers from droughted plants was 4-fold greater than in tubers from well-watered plants. Re-watered plants had a similar biomass to control plants, and lower CNc than droughted plants. These findings highlight the important link between food quality and episodic drought.

Additional keywords: chemical defence, climate change, cyanide, cyanogenesis, cyanogenic glycosides, food security, konzo, linamarin, manioc, water stress.


References

Alves AAC, Setter TL (2000) Response of cassava to water deficit: leaf area growth and abscisic acid. Crop Science 40, 131–137.
Response of cassava to water deficit: leaf area growth and abscisic acid.CrossRef |

Asghari HR, Cavagnaro TR (2011) Arbuscular mycorrhizas enhance plant interception of leached nutrients. Functional Plant Biology 38, 219–226.
Arbuscular mycorrhizas enhance plant interception of leached nutrients.CrossRef |

Baker GR, Fukai S, Wilson GL (1989) the response of cassava to water deficits at various stages of growth in the subtropics. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 40, 517–528.
the response of cassava to water deficits at various stages of growth in the subtropics.CrossRef |

Blomstedt CK, Gianello RD, Gaff DF, Hamill JD, Neale AD (1998) Differential gene expression in desiccation-tolerant and desiccation-sensitive tissue of the resurrection grass, Sporobolus stapfianus. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 25, 937–946.
Differential gene expression in desiccation-tolerant and desiccation-sensitive tissue of the resurrection grass, Sporobolus stapfianus.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaK1MXht1emt74%3D&md5=3a9f351e758ff2b8016bbf176bbcfa74CAS |

Bokanga M, Ekanayake IJ, Dixon AGO, Porto MCM (1994) Genotype–environment interactions for cyanogenic potential in cassava. Acta Horticulturae 375, 131–139.

Bradbury JH, Denton IC (2010) Rapid wetting method to reduce cyanogen content of cassava flour. Food Chemistry 121, 591–594.
Rapid wetting method to reduce cyanogen content of cassava flour.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXitFynu78%3D&md5=248b08fa9c8b3a21afa8766e97e9e7e2CAS |

Burns A, Gleadow RM, Cavagnaro TR (2010) Cassava: the drought, war and famine crop in a changing environment. Sustainability 2, 3572–3607.
Cassava: the drought, war and famine crop in a changing environment.CrossRef |

Cardoso AP, Mirione E, Ernesto M, Massaza F, Cliff J, Haque MR, Bradbury JH (2005) Processing of cassava roots to remove cyanogens. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 18, 451–460.
Processing of cassava roots to remove cyanogens.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXhtVOmsbc%3D&md5=6add9304a50a8678a83c23d30c2104f4CAS |

Cliff J (1994) Cassava safety in times of war and drought in Mozambique. Acta Horticulturae 375, 372–378.

Cliff J, Martensson J, Lundqvist P, Rosling H, Sorbo B (1985) Association of high cyanide and low sulfur intake in cassava-induced spastic paraparesis. Lancet 326, 1211–1213.
Association of high cyanide and low sulfur intake in cassava-induced spastic paraparesis.CrossRef |

Connor DJ, Cock JH, Parra GE (1981) Response of cassava to water shortage. 1. Growth and yield. Field Crops Research 4, 181–200.
Response of cassava to water shortage. 1. Growth and yield.CrossRef |

El-Sharkawy MA (1993) Drought-tolerant cassava for Africa, Asia and Latin-America. Bioscience 43, 441–451.
Drought-tolerant cassava for Africa, Asia and Latin-America.CrossRef |

El-Sharkawy MA (2003) Cassava biology and physiology. Plant Molecular Biology 53, 621–641.
Cassava biology and physiology.CrossRef |

Ernesto M, Cardoso AP, Nicala D, Mirione E, Massaza F, Cliff J, Haque MR, Bradbury JH (2002) Persistent konzo and cyanogen toxicity from cassava in northern Mozambique. Acta Tropica 82, 357–362.
Persistent konzo and cyanogen toxicity from cassava in northern Mozambique.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XktVCisbc%3D&md5=c4c7f5ddafe19abdc85ee5e14f432027CAS |

FAO (2009) Why cassava? Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations Statistics Database. Available at: http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/gcds/index_en.html (accessed 9 July 2010)

FAOSTAT (2011) Food and agricultural commodities production. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations Statistics Database. Available at: http://faostat.fao.org/ (accessed 1 April 2011)

Gleadow RM, Woodrow IE (2002) Defense chemistry of cyanogenic Eucalyptus cladocalyx seedlings is affected by water supply. Tree Physiology 22, 939–945.
Defense chemistry of cyanogenic Eucalyptus cladocalyx seedlings is affected by water supply.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xns1emsbw%3D&md5=fc2312fa04dbb8f56cc272ebc5d4f495CAS |

Gleadow RM, Bjarnholt N, Jørgensen K, Fox J, Miller RM (2011) Detection, identification and quantitative measurement of cyanogenic glycosides. In ‘Research methods in plant science. Vol. 1. Soil allelochemicals’. (Eds SS Narwal, L Szajdak, DA Sampietro) pp. 283–310. (International Allelopathy Foundation, Studium Press: Houston, USA)

IPCC (2007) Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report, Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Core Writing Team. (Eds RK Pachauri, A Reisinger) (IPCC: Geneva, Switzerland)

Jørgensen K, Bak S, Busk PK, Sorensen C, Olsen CE, Puonti-Kaerlas J, Møller BL (2005) Cassava plants with a depleted cyanogenic glucoside content in leaves and tubers. Distribution of cyanogenic glucosides, their site of synthesis and transport, and blockage of the biosynthesis by RNA interference technology. Plant Physiology 139, 363–374.
Cassava plants with a depleted cyanogenic glucoside content in leaves and tubers. Distribution of cyanogenic glucosides, their site of synthesis and transport, and blockage of the biosynthesis by RNA interference technology.CrossRef |

Khan HR, McDonald GK, Rengel Z (2003) Zn fertilization improves water use efficiency, grain yield and seed Zn content in chickpea. Plant and Soil 249, 389–400.
Zn fertilization improves water use efficiency, grain yield and seed Zn content in chickpea.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXit1Cit70%3D&md5=ae4fcbf514064d46a121d34729a28ad2CAS |

Maxwell K, Johnson GN (2000) Chlorophyll fluorescence – a practical guide. Journal of Experimental Botany 51, 659–668.
Chlorophyll fluorescence – a practical guide.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3cXjtF2js74%3D&md5=1d462336648d2570f11ecf0f6e979e31CAS |

McKey D, Cavagnaro TR, Cliff J, Gleadow R (2010) Chemical ecology in coupled human and natural systems: people, manioc, multitrophic interactions and global change. Chemoecology 20, 109–133.
Chemical ecology in coupled human and natural systems: people, manioc, multitrophic interactions and global change.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXls1ajsb0%3D&md5=262c5bd3eeb5b7c49ef7521aa73316c1CAS |

Møller BL (2010) Functional diversifications of cyanogenic glucosides. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 13, 337–346.
Functional diversifications of cyanogenic glucosides.CrossRef |

Montagnac JA, Davis CR, Tanumihardjo SA (2009) Nutritional value of cassava for use as a staple food and recent advances for improvement. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 8, 181–194.
Nutritional value of cassava for use as a staple food and recent advances for improvement.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXnt1Khuro%3D&md5=86a0def40093dd06b6e738eb5ca41501CAS |

Munné-Bosch S, Alegre L (2004) Die and let live: leaf senescence contributes to plant survival under drought stress. Functional Plant Biology 31, 203–216.
Die and let live: leaf senescence contributes to plant survival under drought stress.CrossRef |

Nelson CE (1953) Hydrocyanic acid content of certain Sorghums under irrigation as affected by nitrogen fertilizer and soil moisture stress. Agronomy Journal 45, 615–617.
Hydrocyanic acid content of certain Sorghums under irrigation as affected by nitrogen fertilizer and soil moisture stress.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DyaG2cXhs1agsA%3D%3D&md5=251b0a28cb4f6dd76c4835947f67b79bCAS |

Nhassico D, Muquingue H, Cliff J, Cumbana A, Bradbury JH (2008) Rising African cassava production, diseases due to high cyanide intake and control measures. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 88, 2043–2049.
Rising African cassava production, diseases due to high cyanide intake and control measures.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1cXhtFantLrM&md5=2ffcaa2ce410c29248a388c41c2902deCAS |

Nzwalo H, Cliff J (2011) Konzo: from poverty, cassava, and cyanogen intake to toxico-nutritional neurological disease. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 5, e1051
Konzo: from poverty, cassava, and cyanogen intake to toxico-nutritional neurological disease.CrossRef |

Okogbenin E, Ekanayake IJ, Porto MCM (2003) Genotypic variability in adaptation responses of selected clones of cassava to drought stress in the Sudan savannah zone of Nigeria. Journal Agronomy & Crop Science 189, 376–389.
Genotypic variability in adaptation responses of selected clones of cassava to drought stress in the Sudan savannah zone of Nigeria.CrossRef |

R Development Core Team (2008) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. (R Foundation for Statistical Computing: Vienna, Austria) Available at http://www.R-project.org

Santisopasri V, Kurotjanawong K, Chotineeranat S, Piyachomkwan K, Sriroth K, Oates CG (2001) Impact of water stress on yield and quality of cassava starch. Industrial Crops and Products 13, 115–129.
Impact of water stress on yield and quality of cassava starch.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3MXitF2qtLg%3D&md5=3e5a19a372f7570cefe053086833654aCAS |

Selmar D (1993) Transport of cyanogenic glucosides: linustatin uptake by Hevea cotyledons. Planta 191, 191–199.

Setter TL, Fregene MA (2007) Recent advances in molecular breeding of cassava for improved drought stress tolerance. In ‘Advances in molecular breeding toward drought and salt tolerant crops’. (Eds MA Jenks, PM Hasegawa, SM Jain) pp. 701–711. (Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands)

Siritunga D, Sayre R (2004) Engineering cyanogen synthesis and turnover in cassava (Manihot esculenta). Plant Molecular Biology 56, 661–669.
Engineering cyanogen synthesis and turnover in cassava (Manihot esculenta).CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXkslyq&md5=78947c20abc5e2e289603d43420f2462CAS |

Woodrow IE, Slocum DJ, Gleadow RM (2002) Influence of water stress on cyanogenic capacity in Eucalyptus cladocalyx. Functional Plant Biology 29, 103–110.
Influence of water stress on cyanogenic capacity in Eucalyptus cladocalyx.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XitVCiu7Y%3D&md5=66a76590b59a4ecbfaa9f6d6d6856394CAS |

Zar JH (2010) ‘Biostatistical analysis.’ (5th edn) (Pearson Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ)



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (18)

View Altmetrics