Plant Molecular Biology , 15 (February 18, 2021 2021)
Key message We demystify recent advances in genome assemblies for the heterozygous staple crop cassava (Manihot esculenta), and highlight key cassava genomic resources. Cassava, Manihot esculenta Crantz, is a crop of societal and agricultural importance in tropical regions around the world. Genomics provides a platform for accelerated improvement of cassava’s nutritional and agronomic traits, as well as for illuminating aspects of cassava’s history including its path towards domestication. The highly heterozygous nature of the cassava genome is widely recognized. However, the full extent and context of this heterozygosity has been difficult to reveal because of technological limitations within genome sequencing. Only recently, with several new long-read sequencing technologies coming online, has the genomics community been able to tackle some similarly difficult genomes. In light of these recent advances, we provide this review to document the current status of the cassava genome and genomic resources and provide a perspective on what to look forward to in the coming years.