Donald Danforth plant science center website, 2006
The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) recently announced that it selected a proposal organized by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to conduct genome sequencing of the cassava plant. The DOE JGI chose to sequence cassava because it is an excellent energy source. Its roots contain 20-40% starch that costs 15-30% less to produce per hectare than starch from corn, making it an attractive and strategic source of renewable energy. Moreover, it is grown worldwide as a source of food for approximately 1 billion people, raising the possibility that it could be used globally to alleviate dependence on fossil fuels.