The world population is projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050. Between now and then, we will need to produce more food than we have in the previous 10,000 years. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members are hard at work examining the critical questions and developing innovative solutions to the grand challenge of feeding the world.
Over the years he’s spent studying cassava mosaic disease, Tanzanian scientist Dr. Joseph Ndunguru has noted something curious: Wherever there are DNA molecules called satellites associated with the geminiviruses contributing to the disease, symptoms are greater and losses are heavier – even in plants bred specifically to resist the disease.
Figuring out more about those subviral particles could be key, Ndunguru believes, to developing a strategy to beat the disease for good. That’s why he has teamed with CALS’ Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin on a project designed to yield the scientific insight necessary to do just that.
Along with two African scientists, CALS’ Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin is focusing on tiny subviral particles that could be the key to addressing big food production problems.