The Bioscience center of IITA has been established two decades ago, in the early 90's, at the beginning of genomic revolution and DNA technology. In subsequent years, we have expanded and evolved to keep abreast of the rapidly growing scientific technology.
Being one of the leading biotech laboratories in sub Saharan Africa, Bioscience Center has served as a pioneer center of excellence for harnessing molecular biology technologies for improvement of African crops including cassava and yam among others. Given Africa's myriads problems – population growth, climate change, poverty, education - Agric-Innovation is vital to enhance productivity and ensure food security.
Our research has been featured in more than 150 national and international media outlets including Nature News, Discovery News, Nature Biotech., CNN- Earth's Frontiers, Guardian, The Standard, SciDev Net, Crop Biotech update, Science Times Magazine, Science News, American Scientist etc.
The main objectives of the Center are:
1. Molecular Plant pre-Breeding (Genetic Characterization)
To discover desirable traits and describe the germplasm collection of the Genbank for crop improvement – high yielding, disease resistant, quality varieties, read more
2. Molecular Plant Breeding
To develop genomics tools to accelerate the development of superior varieties of cassava, yam, plantain, and other crops. Varieties with high nutritional quality that give high yield under disease and pest pressure or when there is shortage of rainfall caused by climate change, read more
3. Plant Disease Diagnostics
To develop user-friendly and affordable tools for disease diagnostics. Determining the causal agent of a disease is a key to designing appropriate control measure. Furthermore, diagnostic tools help us to pre-empt emerging threats – new plant diseases, read more
4. Plant Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering (aka Transgenics) is the introduction and stable integration of genes into the genome and their expression in a transgenic plant that offers a better alternative for the genetic improvement of crops not amenable to conventional cross breeding. Despite technical difficulties of transforming a monocot species, transformation protocols are available at IITA for many banana cultivars and several cassava land races while the protocol for yam is under development, read more
5. Capacity Building
Our world-class training in biotechnology has attracted numerous young scientists and sparked interest in many. The Bioscience Center has served as Africa's gateway to modern technologies and a platform for innovation and discovery for over two decades.Research institutes in Africa lack adequate infrastructure and expertise to realize the full benefits of this technology. The lab has research facilities and equipment that have been widely used by researchers from the national programs, post graduate students, youth corpers and industrial technology trainees. On this poster we have partial list of students we have trained, including students from Bells University. We are proud to have former trainees who hold high government offices, work in CGIAR centers, and other advanced laboratories across the world.
Equipment and Facilities
- Bioinformatics Lab (Server; Workstation;Software for sequence analysis;Software for linkage and association analysis)
- Molecular biology Lab (Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzer, Thermocyclers, Quantitative real-time PCR, Genogrinder, Gel electrophoresis, Spectrophotometers)
- Cytogenetics (Ploidy analyzer, Microscopy)
- Tissue culture (laminar flow hoods, autoclave,refrigerator, plant growth cabinets, weighing balance,pH meters,Magnetic stirrers,microwave oven, dispenser, etc)
- Core utility services (Ultralow temperature specimen storage, cold room, water purification system, sterilization/autoclave systems)
Bioscience Center Brochures