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Masiga - Enhanced Utilization of Biotechnology Research and Development Innovations in ECA: ASARECA’s success stories

Presentation delivered at the CIALCA international conference 'Challenges and Opportunities to the agricultural intensification of the humid highland systems of sub-Saharan Africa'. Kigali, Rwanda, October 24-27 2011.

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Masiga - Enhanced Utilization of Biotechnology Research and Development Innovations in ECA: ASARECA’s success stories

  1. 1. Enhanced Utilization of Biotechnology Research and Development Innovations in ECA: ASARECA’s success stories Clet Wandui Masiga, Seyfu Ketema and Charles Mugoya Agro-biodiversity & Biotechnology Programme P. O. Box 765, Entebbe, Uganda Tel : 256-414-322129; Fax : 256-414-322593 Email: [email_address] com ; [email_address] Presented at the CIALCA conference: Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Intensification of the Humid Highland systems of sub Saharan Africa, Oct 24-27, 2011, Kigali Rwanda
  2. 2. ASARECA has 10 MEMBER COUNTRIES <ul><li>Burundi </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic Republic of Congo </li></ul><ul><li>Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>Eritrea </li></ul><ul><li>Kenya </li></ul><ul><li>Madagascar </li></ul><ul><li>Rwanda </li></ul><ul><li>Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>Tanzania </li></ul><ul><li>Uganda </li></ul>Mission: Enhance regional collective action in agricultural research for development, extension and agricultural training and education to p romote economic growth, fight poverty , eradicate hunger and enhance sustainable use of resources in Eastern and Central Africa.
  3. 3. Rational for ASARECA’s Investment into Biotechnology <ul><li>To harness opportunities that biotechnology offer to agricultural development as envisaged by CAADP; </li></ul><ul><li>It is recognized as a powerful tool for economic development of the region; </li></ul><ul><li>Biotechnology offers promise to improve yield, nutritional quality, as well as human health </li></ul><ul><li>The tool has developed invaluable new methodologies and products in food and agriculture e.g. resistance to pests, diseases and herbicides </li></ul>
  4. 4. Objectives of ASARECA’s investment in Biotechnology <ul><li>Enhanced generation and uptake of demand driven biotechnology Innovations in ECA </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthened capacity for using biotechnology in Implementing Agricultural Research for Development in ECA </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced Availability of information on biotechnological agricultural technologies and innovations in ECA </li></ul>
  5. 5. Biotechnological tools being promoted by ASARECA
  6. 6. Genetic Engineering of Maize for Drought tolerance <ul><li>Drought is a single most important abiotic stress responsible for reduced maize productivity in arid and semi-arid areas, leading up to 70% crop loss. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Success story of Maize project <ul><li>ASARECA and its partners (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan) led by Professor Jesse Machuka at Kenyatta University are introgressing drought tolerance conferring genes into the Maize </li></ul>Sudanese Maize transformed with NHX1 gene Putative transformant Glass house care of transfomats Ms Rasha Adam invented a drought tolerant gene & named it ASARECA AnxZm35 gene
  8. 8. Success story of Maize project <ul><li>This will be a 70% increase in maize production in ECA, hence improving food security, reducing hunger and promoting economic development. </li></ul>Sudanese Maize transformed with NHX1 gene Putative transformant Glass house care of transfomats Ms Rasha Adam invented a drought tolerant gene & named it ASARECA AnxZm35 gene
  9. 9. From difficult to possibilities
  10. 10. Establishment of a Genetic Transformation Platform for Cassava Status: Completed and functional All have acquired biosafety level II status . GM cassava has been developed for resistance to CMD and CBSD
  11. 11. Applying tissue culture to improve access to cassava and sweetpotato clean planting materials for farmers <ul><li>Developed a DNA based method to detect viruses of cassava and sweet potatoes </li></ul><ul><li>Optimization of low-cost tissue culture protocols </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of centralized regional tissue culture database </li></ul><ul><li>Established facilities at 8 NARI centres – NacRRI, ISAR, ISABU, INERA EIAR, Kenyatta University KARI, University of Nairobi & at Agrobiotech Ltd (Burundi) </li></ul><ul><li>Trained 41 scientists and technicians </li></ul>
  12. 12. Developing/acquiring and standardizing virus indexing tools for cassava and sweet potato culture materials <ul><li>Cassava/sweet potato virus sequences For the developing PCR-based and antibody based diagnostics now available. </li></ul><ul><li>Specific diagnostic primers and the PCR based diagnostics for sweet potato and cassava viruses have been developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Epitopes from coat proteins of cassava/sweet potato viruses for antibody development have been identified and have been used to develop antibodies. </li></ul><ul><li>Antibodies against the synthesized peptides for plant viruses have been tested with the synthesized peptides, and evaluated with the infected cassava samples by blocking test with the injected peptides. </li></ul><ul><li>Virus elimination protocols have been optimized and used to produce virus free cassava and sweetpotato germplasm </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conservation for Sustainable Availability of Cassava and Sweetpotato Germplasm through Biotechnology Applications <ul><li>Established facilities at 8 NARI centers – NacRRI, MARI, ISABU, INERA EIAR KARI, ARC &El Obeid </li></ul><ul><li>Trained 41 scientists and technicians </li></ul><ul><li>Characterized and evaluated some key target crop accessions </li></ul><ul><li>Regenerated and safely duplicated some key regional crop collections </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated capacity development for Invitro Conservation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slow growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cryopreservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both for cassava and sweet potatoes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Freezing equipment
  15. 15. Storage in liquid nitrogen in Dewar flask
  16. 16. Genetic Linkage Mapping of Field Resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) <ul><li>A total of 316 SSR markers are being mapped on the linkage map. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Fighting Striga: Resistance Genes Deployed to Boost Sorghum Productivity <ul><li>Striga infestation threatens to bring 17 million hectares of farm land out of sorghum production </li></ul><ul><li>Using Marker assisted breeding, ASARECA and its partners in Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and ICRISAT, have developed 50 striga resistant sorghum lines capable of giving yield up to 3.6 t/ha </li></ul>
  18. 18. Success story of striga project <ul><li>This breakthrough will enable 300 million people in Africa to get out of hunger, attain food security, walk out of the poverty bracket and lead better lives. </li></ul>Donor Parent N13 for striga resistant gene Background parent, Wad Ahmed One of 50 lines developed with resistance to Striga
  19. 19. Fine Mapping of genes associated with Striga resistance in sorghum
  20. 20. Diagnostic and control tools and strategies for Taenia solium Cysticercosis <ul><ul><li>Taenia solium (pig-tapeworm) vaccine and diagnostic kits developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Epidemiological data collected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 Msc students received training </li></ul></ul>Pig1 and Pig3 are negative others positive.  The top line is the control (present in all samples) while the bottom is the test line (present only in the positive samples).  So the antibodies have good potential in this assay.   We now have 300 of the devices at ILRI and aim to start testing them on many more pig sera
  21. 21. Vaccine development & Trials in ECA <ul><li>Developed by Marshall W. Lightowlers, Veterinary Clinical Centre, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Vaccine against Taeniasolium (TSOL18 & TSOL45) </li></ul><ul><li>Recombinant vaccines prepared in bacteria and shown to be effective in preventing natural infection of pigs with T.solium . </li></ul><ul><li>TSOL18 is the most effective whereby its application together with a single treatment of pigs with oxfendazole achieved the complete elimination of transmission of the parasites by pigs involved in the field trial. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Transfer of Banana Tissue Culture, Tissue Culture Certification and Tissue Culture Business Network Project <ul><ul><li>Produced and disseminated TC banana to farmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established banana nurseries in 6 districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training of farmers and stakeholders </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Key challenges <ul><li>Inadequate biosafety policies, regulatory frameworks and strategies for biotechnology and agro-biodiversity management </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate public awareness and misinformation </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate human resources and physical infrastructure for research and development </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate networking/partnerships among scientists and stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate technology development, extension and transfer systems </li></ul>
  24. 24. Future of this project <ul><li>The celebrated success are key inventive and breakthroughs in biotechnology and our effort to improve livelihoods. </li></ul><ul><li>However, the research is still in its infant stages and more studies are still being undertaken for the development & use of biotechnology in ECA. </li></ul><ul><li>The current team has its comparative advantage in basic research and producing first class scientists, therefore for this research to benefit the demand by African farmers to have access to biotechnology products, National Agricultural Research Institutes need to take over from their findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Building synergies for up-scaling the utilization of findings of this research is very critical. </li></ul><ul><li>As priority there is needs to mobilize a research team from NARS in ECA to advance this science. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Glad you listened!