Title: Biotechnology in faidherbia albida in the Sudano sahelian zone of Cameroon
Cameroon is the only Africa country which is described as African in Miniature. It is in the Central African region and bordered by Nigeria, Chad, Central Africa Republic Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo. Cameroon is divided into ten regions with different agro-ecological zones. The Sahel region of Cameroon is the most populated with stressful environmental conditions and lacks basic food stuff to feed the growing population. The University of Maroua was created in this region to develop research to assist in alleviating poverty and specially to develop the agricultural (plant and animal) sector in the region. With a PhD from the Laboratory of Forest Genetic and Tree Breeding, University of Thessaloniki, I initiated a breeding program on Faidherbia albida (formally known as Acacia albida) an agroforestry species in the Sahel region of Cameroon. Phenotypic characterization of the species covering its distribution range in Cameroon has been published (Tchatchoua et al., 2019). Knowledge on genetic diversity of F. albida as regards SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers in populations from Cameroon (Tchatchoua et al., 2020) and populations from Sub-Saharan Africa (in preparation) are available. Low genetic diversity was detected in these populations and suggested increasing the variability by introducing germplasm from other Africa provenances. Study to evaluated the performance of these introduced provenances (Sub-Saharan populations) under optimal irrigation conditions of young shoots of F. albida at the nursery stage is published (Tagne et al., 2021). Most of these genetic materials are established in field trial for further research which will include crossing among the different provenances (inter-provenance crosses). At this stage, we are expanding the project to include research on drought, heat and insect resistance which are serious environmental constraints. The various topics have been taken up by some enthusiastic PhD students. This will require the use of genomic tools such as genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify genes involved in the response of this species to abiotic stress. Genomic tools will complement the research on conventional breeding. As such providing suitable genotypes for on farm and plantation establishment in the Sahel of Cameroon, and Africa at large
Audience Take Away Notes :
- Audiences (especially Africans) harboring this species in their environment, will want to include these populations in the research so that we can work together to improve on the genetic resources across Africa and the world at large.
- Use the techniques to produce abiotic stress varieties as desired characteristicsInvolve in the research for better production of forest genetic resources.Research and field establishment in degraded land is a component of the reforestation project in AfricaUse the knowledge of modern techniques (Biotechnology) in forestry productionSmall agroforestry farms or forest plantations can be established in villages.
- This will help in providing jobs to youths in particular. This is the most recent technology in Africa Universities for the improvement of forest trees and this will benefit both students and researchers.Include biotechnology technique in their curriculum and research.The technique makes it easy to get quality genetic materials (drought stress, good growth, etc) for use in our reforestation programsTechnology that is sure to work effectively if used and applied properly.
- Solution to deforestation, agroforestry, greening cities or Urban forestry, climate change effect.Assist community in agroforestry system. Thus, sustainable agriculture for the community.Phenotypic selection is not only time consuming but requires hard labour, so genomic selection is here to facilitate and increase the turn over