Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.), the third most important crop in Thailand after rice and sugarcane, is utilized widely in many industrials activities as well as human and animal consumptions. Cassava tubers are important source of starch and its increasing demand leads to the study for improving starch content and quality. The Starch Biosynthesis and Storage Root Development Research Program in the Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Laboratory (APMG) was set up with the aim of achieving a complete understanding of the molecular regulation and biochemistry behind storage root development and starch biosynthesis in cassava. The knowledge thus acquired will eventually be applied to improvement schemes designed to develop new cassava varieties with desired properties.
Rice is a model plant for biological research, and a major staple food for about half of the world’s populations. Plant Molecular Genetics of APMG carry out research in rice including studies of male sterility used for hybrid seed production, and biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, genes controlling flower and seed development to increase rice yield are also examined. This information is important for future breeding and genetic engineering efforts.