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CSB Seminar Series – Taming the cereal killer Striga – Prof Steven Runo (Kenyatta University)

December 3, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Taming the cereal killer – Striga

Prof Steven Runo
Senior Lecturer
Kenyatta University

Parasitic plants of the Striga genus (witchweeds) greatly limit production of staple cereals in sub-Saharan Africa. The parasite attaches to host crops and siphons nutrients leading to severe retardation and death of infected plants. The most efficient and cost-effective way to control Striga infestations would be to develop crops that are resistant to Striga. But, it has recently emerged that Striga – just like other plant pathogens – is a powerful manipulator of host defense mechanisms. Using molecular genetics, genomics and resistance evaluation, we aim to understand the mechanisms of how sorghum, a Striga host, perceives, responds, and resists Striga parasitism. We are also investigating how Striga manages to evade sorghum’s immune surveillance. Our ultimate goal is to discover means to improve sorghum’s resistance and reduce Striga virulence in a way that would allow development of varieties that have broad-spectrum and durable resistance against the parasite.

HOST: Shelley Lumba

Zoom ID and passcode:


Meeting ID: 881 2105 1050

Passcode: 361937


December 3, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: