Background: Cassava tuber contains antinutritional compounds and native starch of cassava is not suitable
for many food and industrial applications. Modifications by physical, chemical, biological and
conventional breeding methods have shortcomings and difficulties. Bioengineering by gene technology
is a viable approach to improve starch qualities and remove antinutritional compounds.
Objectives: This paper examined the achievements of applications of gene technology to understand
starch biosynthesis, production of novel starches, cyacogenic glucosides-free and vitamin A-enriched
varieties and set future research goals for safe cassava consumption and expansion of cassava starch
Method: Searches were conducted for peer-reviewed publications on starch biosynthesis in plants, genetic
modification for starch and cyacogenic glucosides synthesis. Quality of the publications was established
by the standard method. The information obtained from publications was used to construct
the starch biosynthesis pathway in plants, evaluate progress made in molecular understanding and
modification of the starch gene.
Results: Seven key enzymes involved in starch biosynthesis were identified, including glucan water
dikinase for starch degradation. The paper constructed pathway of starch biosynthesis that leads to the
generation of amylose and amylopectin polymers in plants. In addition, molecular cloning, phylogenetic
relationships, expression pattern, copies number and sequences of four key genes involved in starch
biosynthesis in cassava were examined. Furthermore, achievements in genetic manipulation of amylose
gene and cyacogenic glucosides in cassava using antisense and RNA interference approaches were
Conclusion: The paper suggested production of cyacogenic glucoside-free, vitamin A-enriched cassava
varieties and deployment of gene-editing method for obtaining novel starches from cassava.