Research Details

  • Research Name : Molecular Characterization
  • Publications : 23
  • Category : Research
  • Research Year : 2020
  • Location : Ibadan

Molecular Characterization

The Genetic Resource Center of IITA possess tens of thousands of germplasm accessions for clonally propagated and seed crops. As a result of the sheer size of these accessions, there is a need to develop strategies which use innovative technologies for characterizing genetic diversity and efficient utilization for germplasm enhancement.

Molecular characterization or DNA fingerprinting using molecular markers is an important process that provides valuable data to detect variation at DNA level and to assess genetic diversity in crops and their wild relatives, which in turn helps in selection of diverse parents in crop improvement programs.

DNA markers are used to evaluate the genetic variation in gene banks, as well as to identify phylogenetic and molecular structure of crops and their associated wild species. It also plays an important role in developing conservation strategies such as identification of duplicates or mismatches in rationalising ex situ germplasm collections.

Molecular markers can also be used to certify varieties, determine the presence or absence of diseases and assess the reproductive biology of species, among other applications.

Current projetcs

  • Genotype-by-sequencing in cassava, yam, maize
  • Metabolomics in cassava, yam, and banana
  • Molecular fingerprinting of cocoa germplasm from five countries in West and Central Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo and Cote d'Ivoire) using SNPs for identification of true-to-type genotypes and assessment of genetic diversity.
  • Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) of yam genotypes including popular varieties, landraces conserved in international collection and breeding populations such as crossing block materials, mapping population parents and progenies as well as genotypes with historical morphological data for 5-6 years
  • Development of a linkage map in Dioscorea alata and identification of QTL (s) for anthracnose disease
  • Identification of molecular markers associated with nitrogen use efficiency in Dioscorea rotundata and D. alata
  • Genotyping of germplasm including landraces, breeding populations and wild species of Dioscorea using molecular markers such as SSRs