Academic Venture Fund - 2012

Sustainable Production of Staple Leafy Green Vegetable Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

African woman walking among tall leafy plants

Sukuma wiki (leafy greens) is a nutritious vegetable enjoyed by millions in East Africa, but leaf damage from "black rot" can result in market losses of more than 50 percent for smallholder farmers. Cornell researchers are transferring resistance to black rot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, into sukuma wiki by crossing the plant with resistant cabbage. Working with African partners, Cornell researchers will field test sukuma wiki with enhanced resistance to black rot, develop production guidelines to suppress the disease, and introduce American collard greens.

Investigators: Phillip Griffiths, Miguel Gomez, Jenny Kao-Kniffin, Helene Dillard