Evaluation of biochemical components as a mechanism of cassava resistance to whitefly infestation in Uganda
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Bemisia tabaci is one of the most common whitefly species worldwide that have been identified to cause serious harm in various crops through direct damage and as a vector of viral diseases. In Uganda, cassava varieties used have succumbed to the ever increasing populations of the pest and have resulted in severe damage and epidemics. Through complex interactions with the plant, the pest feeds by tapping into the phloem of plant and as it maneuvers on the plant is reported to minimize plant defense responses. A number of cassava varieties have exhibited low populations of the pest and low damage levels worldwide. Although several metabolite components have been shown to be present in some cassava varieties, the resistance mechanisms operating in cassava to B. tabaci have not been well understood. The changes that occur in metabolite content as a result of the interaction with B. tabaci and their effect on crop resistance to the pest have not been well elucidated. It is therefore critical that knowledge is generated on the metabolites in cassava that may be associated with B. tabaci resistance as a means for enhancing breeding of resistant cassava genotypes. This review article presents a summary on cassava resistance to B. tabaci research status and the development of breeding research in Uganda.