Genetic modification for designer starch from cassava

Genetic modification for designer starch from cassava


  • N. Krishna Radhika CTCRI
  • M.N. Sheela
  • A. Asha Devi
  • J. Sreekumar
  • T. Makesh Kumar
  • S.K. Chakrabarti


Amylopectin, Amylose, Gene silencing, gbssI, <i>Manihot esculenta</i>, Designer Starch, Waxy Cassava


Starch is a basic raw material for many food and non-food industries, the products ranging from frozen foods to dextrin,adhesives, biodegradable plastics, gypsum binders and more. Modified starches are extensively used as fillers, emulsion stabilizers, consistency modifiers etc. Starch contains two chemical compounds, amylose and amylopectin,and varying the proportion of these results in modified starch with enhanced suitability for specific use in various industries. Such modified starch, in this context, is referred to as ‘designer starch’. Chemical modification is the usual procedure for making starch suitable for industrial use but is expensive and less eco-friendly. Through the varied expression of genes involved in starch metabolism, a stable supply of modified starch could be assured and waxy cassava developed by CIAT, using the antisense RNA technology, stands as a practical example for designer starch. Waxy starch from cassava has improved paste clarity, low retro-gradation and better freeze thaw stability. Further, the pasting temperature of this waxy starch from cassava is better than cereal derived waxy starch. Efforts for making waxy starch from cassava are undertaken in various parts of the world including Netherlands, China, Thailand and India. Genetic modification through silencing the RNA is the method adopted in all the cases and by far Netherlands have reached the field trial stage of genetically modified waxy cassava. This paper reviews the method adopted, progress and challenges involved in developing waxy starch from cassava.

Author Biography

N. Krishna Radhika, CTCRI

Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala-695017, India




How to Cite

Krishna Radhika, N., Sheela, M., Asha Devi, A., Sreekumar, J., Makesh Kumar, T., & Chakrabarti, S. (2014). Genetic modification for designer starch from cassava. Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 52(1), 1–6. Retrieved from




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