Endophytic microbes to enhance Brachiaria productivity in semi-arid environments of
sub Saharan Africa
Sita R. Ghimire
ILR...
Livestock in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
• Livelihood of 70% of the smallholder farmers
• Food sources, key inputs to crop pr...
Brachiaria grasses
• Native perennial grasses of East Africa

Native

• Persistence to grazing
• Tolerant to drought, low ...
The problem: its significance
• Limited availability of forages is a major limitation of
livestock production in SSA

• Cl...
Endophyte and plant associated microbes
“All those organisms inhabiting plant organs that at
some time in their life, can ...
Endophyte and forage grasses
Insect Resistance in Rye Grass
(Neotyphodium lolii)

Persistence of Tall Fescue
(N. coenophia...
Endophyte and forage/bioenergy grass
Ghimire et al. 2009

Fig. 1 Effect of Sebacina vermifera inoculation
on (a) above gro...
Endophyte and forage/bioenergy grass
Fig 3. Switchgrass seedlings after exposure
to the mild drought stress. Co-cultivated...
Endophyte and staple food crop

Harman, 2011

Harman, 2011

Fig 4. Maize crop at the end of the season
in the DRC-Africa f...
Results – fungal endophyte
Total of 130 fungi, 57 identified
- six Acremonium spp.

Fig 6. Phylogenetic relationships of e...
Results – bacterial endophyte
• Forty bacteria isolated,
18 identified - six
genera including
Herbaspirillum, Pantoea
and ...
Results/progress
 Research plot establishment
Brachiaria ecotypes collections
Meta-genome analysis
Biological nitrificati...
Conclusions and discussion points
• Identified endophytic fungi and bacteria of Brachiaria grasses that are
potentially us...
Where to from now?
• Characterization of microbes - biochemical, biological and plant
growth promotion; meta-genome and BN...
Acknowledgements
Institutions
better lives through livestock
ilri.org

The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distri...
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Endophytic microbes to enhance Brachiaria productivity in semi-arid environments of sub Saharan Africa

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Presented by Sita R. Ghimire at the ILRI BioSciences Day, Nairobi, 27 November 2013


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  • Endophytic microbes to enhance Brachiaria productivity in semi-arid environments of sub Saharan Africa

    1. 1. Endophytic microbes to enhance Brachiaria productivity in semi-arid environments of sub Saharan Africa Sita R. Ghimire ILRI BioSciences Day, Nairobi, 27 November 2013
    2. 2. Livestock in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) • Livelihood of 70% of the smallholder farmers • Food sources, key inputs to crop production and income • Reduces food security risks resulting from seasonal crop failures • Low livestock productivity and negligible productivity growth over the past decades • Shortage of forages – especially in dry season
    3. 3. Brachiaria grasses • Native perennial grasses of East Africa Native • Persistence to grazing • Tolerant to drought, low pH and aluminum toxicity • Can grow in marginal land • High above ground biomass yield (30t DM/ha/yr.) • Carbon sequestration (5t/ha/yr.) • Enhance N use efficiency (through BNI) and minimize GHG • Extensively grown across the world but NOT in native homeland - AFRICA
    4. 4. The problem: its significance • Limited availability of forages is a major limitation of livestock production in SSA • Climate smart Brachiaria Program Increase availability of forage through (a) introduction of improved Brachiaria cultivars, (b) improvement of local ecotypes, (c) exploration and utilization of native endophytic microbes, and (d) capacity buildings. • Promote native flora as an important forage species (SLO4), increase milk and meat production (SLO3 and SLO2), and increase income of farmers (SLO1).
    5. 5. Endophyte and plant associated microbes “All those organisms inhabiting plant organs that at some time in their life, can colonize internal plant tissues without causing apparent harm to the host” (Petrini, 1991) • • • • • Protect against herbivores Protect against abiotic stress Produce plant growth-regulating substances Enhance nutrients uptake and/or solubilization Suppress or compete with disease-causing microbes • Enhance biomass and grain yields (Kelemu et al., 2001 ; Clay & Schardl, 2002; Schardl et al. 2004; Taghavi et al. 2009; Rodriguez et al. 2009; Ghimire & Craven, 2011, 2013)
    6. 6. Endophyte and forage grasses Insect Resistance in Rye Grass (Neotyphodium lolii) Persistence of Tall Fescue (N. coenophialum) 1 ENDO 5 EE+ E- E+ ΔPer (Tanaka et al. 2005) (Noble Foundation, OK, USA)
    7. 7. Endophyte and forage/bioenergy grass Ghimire et al. 2009 Fig. 1 Effect of Sebacina vermifera inoculation on (a) above ground growth of switchgrass plants after 2 months of inoculation (b) and root growth after 7 months of inoculation Ghimire & Craven 2013 Fig. 2 Effect of soil inoculation of two strains of Sebacina vermifera on the performance of switchgrass NF/GA993 clonal seedlings six weeks after inoculation.
    8. 8. Endophyte and forage/bioenergy grass Fig 3. Switchgrass seedlings after exposure to the mild drought stress. Co-cultivated seedling with Sebacina vermifera strain MAFF 305830 (left), with S. vermifera strain MAFF 305828 (middle) and mockinoculated controls (right). Table 2. Effect of Sebacina vermifera on switchgrass mean biomass yield under mild drought stress (means LSD) 65% 45% (Ghimire & Craven 2011)
    9. 9. Endophyte and staple food crop Harman, 2011 Harman, 2011 Fig 4. Maize crop at the end of the season in the DRC-Africa from seed treated with beneficial fungi (right) and with out fungi (left) Fig 5. Diagram of the overall effect of Trichoderma strains, and of other root colonizing plant symbiotic microbes on plants and plant productivity.
    10. 10. Results – fungal endophyte Total of 130 fungi, 57 identified - six Acremonium spp. Fig 6. Phylogenetic relationships of endophytic fungi of Brachiaria
    11. 11. Results – bacterial endophyte • Forty bacteria isolated, 18 identified - six genera including Herbaspirillum, Pantoea and Pseudomonas • Microbial culture collection established with current inventory of 77 microbes Fig 7. Phylogenetic relationships of endophytic bacteria of Brachiaria grasses
    12. 12. Results/progress  Research plot establishment Brachiaria ecotypes collections Meta-genome analysis Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) Variety evaluations (demo. plot)  Production of endophyte - free Brachiaria clones Micro propagation Heat treatment
    13. 13. Conclusions and discussion points • Identified endophytic fungi and bacteria of Brachiaria grasses that are potentially useful for plant growth promotions and adaptation to climate change effects. • These microbes need multiple tests to determine their utility for agricultural applications. • Characterization of microbes - needs collaborations • Policy and regulatory supports
    14. 14. Where to from now? • Characterization of microbes - biochemical, biological and plant growth promotion; meta-genome and BNI studies to determine role of Brachiaria on nutrient use efficiency and soil fertility • Contribution to CGIAR System Level Outcomes - Promote native grasses (SLO4); increase forage availability then milk and meat (SLO2); improve nutrition and health (SLO3); increase income and reduce poverty (SLO1); and CRPs 3.7, 4 and 7. • Collaboration with national partners and scientist abroad
    15. 15. Acknowledgements Institutions
    16. 16. better lives through livestock ilri.org The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given to ILRI.

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