Current Research Projects

  • Sustainable bio-energy in Africa:The Institute of Biotechnology Research at JKUAT in collaboration with the Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences have in place sweet sorghum hybrids with high fermentable sugar content (Brix) in their stems and are much taller. Preliminary growth and adaptation tests in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia, surprisingly show that the yields from sweet sorghum hybrids are in addition significantly higher when compared to local varieties. In partnership with Can Sen Enterprises LTD, the feasibility of producing bio-ethanol from the sweet sorghum hybrids is actively being pursued.
  • Developing crops that are adapted to climate change:A new World Bank report released in 2015 shows that climate change is an acute threat to poorer people across the world, with the power to push more than 100 million people back into poverty by the year 2030.  And the poorest region of the world – Sub-Saharan Africa – will be hit the hardest. Developing crops more tolerant to rapidly changing and more severe environments such as droughts will be crucial for future food production. To improve yields of major food crops in Africa, in particular maize and sorghum, we employ genetics, genomics, tissue culture and plant transformation technology tools to dissect the molecular networks conditioning yield under water deficit stress.
  • Diversity of rice blast pathogen population their interaction of rice blast pathogen and strategies for resistance management in Kenya Searching for and testing the efficacy of entomopathogenic fungi in the control of spider mites
  • Molecular resolution of genetic variability of CBSV and development of diagnostic kit for cassava and sweet potato virus
  • DNA markers for application of wildlife forensics in Kenya
    Metagenome studies of archea diversity in lake elementaita
  • Diversity, yield and quality characterization of slender leaf (crotalaria spp) and mechanism involved in suppression of stiga weed
  • Characterization, regeneration and agro-bacterium tumefasciens-mediated transformation of jatropha
  • Isolation & characterization of yeast strains capable of converting whey to bio-ethanol Building ecosystem services research capacity in semi-arid Africa
  • Analysis of Molecular and Morphological characterization of Cassava transformed with B- carotene Genes (Dxs and Psy).
  • Characyerization of the Crt Y gene in paracoccus sp. Ibog 37 for the potential commercial application in the production of caratenoids
  • Use of Bacillus thuringiensis isolates and cultural Methods in An Integrated pest management of sweet potato weevils
  • Molecular characterization of wild Pleurotus spp in Kenya
    Agrobacterium mediated transformation of pegionpea with cry 1 gene for pod borer
  • Characterization of soil nematodes from small scale tea growing areas in Kenya
    Elimination of CBSV from infecting Cassava
  • Genetic diversity of indigenous rhizobial strains and commercial inoculants and their potential to improve yields and nitrogen fixation in four legume species in Kenya
  • Genetic diversity and symbiotic efficiency of legume nodulating bacteria from Taita
  • In vitro propagation and molecular characterization of the east African sandal wood Osyris lanceolata
  • Natural products from extremophiles isolation, characterization and cloning of phytone destaurase gene -Crt from paracoccus sp. Ibog 37.