National Root Crops Research Institute

Umuahia, Nigeria

National Root Crops Research Institute

Umuahia, Nigeria
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Eleazu C.O.,National Root Crops Research Institute | Eleazu K.C.,Michael Okpara University of Agriculture | Chukwuma S.,National Root Crops Research Institute | Essien U.N.,Michael Okpara University of Agriculture
Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders | Year: 2013

Streptozotocin (STZ) (2-deoxy-2-({[methyl(nitroso)amino]carbonyl}amino)-β-D-glucopyranose) is a naturally occurring diabetogenic compound, produced by the soil bacterium streptomyces achromogenes, that exhibits broad spectrum of antibacterial properties. Streptozotocin functions as a DNA synthesis inhibitor in both bacterial and mammalian cells. In mammalian cells, the actual mechanism and metabolic targets of STZ toxicity that results in cell death is not known. This review identifies four key areas that explain the mechanism of the cytotoxicity of STZ in mammalian cell lines, investigates the practical aspects of using STZ in experimental animals and the potential risks of its exposure to human health. © 2013 Eleazu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Sayre R.,Donald Danforth Plant Science Center | Beeching J.R.,University of Bath | Cahoon E.B.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Egesi C.,National Root Crops Research Institute | And 13 more authors.
Annual Review of Plant Biology | Year: 2011

More than 250 million Africans rely on the starchy root crop cassava (Manihot esculenta) as their staple source of calories. A typical cassava-based diet, however, provides less than 30% of the minimum daily requirement for protein and only 10%â€"20% of that for iron, zinc, and vitamin A. The BioCassava Plus (BC+) program has employed modern biotechnologies intended to improve the health of Africans through the development and delivery of genetically engineered cassava with increased nutrient (zinc, iron, protein, and vitamin A) levels. Additional traits addressed by BioCassava Plus include increased shelf life, reductions in toxic cyanogenic glycosides to safe levels, and resistance to viral disease. The program also provides incentives for the adoption of biofortified cassava. Proof of concept was achieved for each of the target traits. Results from field trials in Puerto Rico, the first confined field trials in Nigeria to use genetically engineered organisms, and ex ante impact analyses support the efficacy of using transgenic strategies for the biofortification of cassava. Copyright © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Eleazu C.O.,National Root Crops Research Institute | Iroaganachi M.,Abia State Polytechnic | Eleazu K.C.,Michael Okpara University of Agriculture
Journal of Diabetes Research | Year: 2013

Aim. To investigate the ameliorating potentials of cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta L.) and unripe plantain (Musa paradisiaca L.) incorporated feeds on the renal and liver growths of diabetic rats, induced with 55 and 65 mg/kg body weight of Streptozotocin. Method. The blood glucose level of the rats was measured with a glucometer, the protein and glucose and specific gravity (SPGR) in the urine samples of the rats were measured using urine assay strips and urinometer respectively. The chemical composition and antioxidant screening of the test feeds were carried out using standard techniques. Results. Administration of the test feeds for 21 days to the diabetic rats of groups 4 and 5, resulted in 58.75% and 38.13% decreases in hyperglycemia and amelioration of their elevated urinary protein, glucose, SPGR, and relative kidney weights. The diabetic rats administered cocoyam incorporated feeds, had 2.71% and 19.52% increases in weight and growth rates, the diabetic rats administered unripe plantain incorporated feeds had 5.12% and 29.52% decreases in weight and growth rates while the diabetic control rats had 28.69%, 29.46%, 248.9% and 250.14% decreases in weights and growth rates. The cocoyam incorporated feeds contained higher antioxidants, minerals and phytochemicals except alkaloids than unripe plantain feed. Conclusion. Cocoyam and unripe plantain could be useful in the management of diabetic nephropathy. © 2013 C. O. Eleazu et al.


ST. LOUIS, MO, December 14, 2016-The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announces that the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium of American, Nigerian, Ugandan, and Kenyan institutions recently received a five-year, $10.46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the livelihoods and health status of African farm families. Cassava is an important food and cash crop for small-holder farmers in Africa. It is the second most important staple food crop after maize in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately one-third of the population relies on its starchy tuberous roots for over 50 percent of their daily caloric intake. It grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility prevalent in many African countries. However, plant viral diseases can destroy up to 100 percent of a cassava crop yield, threatening livelihoods and leading to hunger. Although it is an excellent source of calories, cassava does not contain significant levels of key nutrients to meet minimum daily requirements, especially for women and children. The VIRCA Plus collaboration will address these challenges by developing and delivering two products. The first will be East African cassava varieties with resistance to both Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). The second will be a Nigerian cassava variety with elevated levels of iron and zinc for improved nutrition, as well as disease resistance. VIRCA Plus builds on the success of two predecessor projects. The VIRCA project successfully developed strong and stable resistance to CBSD in cassava, validated over four field trials and multiple cropping cycles in Kenya and Uganda. The BioCassava Plus project succeeded in developing and testing cassava plants that accumulated greater than 10 times more iron and zinc than comparable varieties. Both minerals are retained after processing into common foodstuffs at levels that could provide 40-70 percent of the Estimated Average Requirement for vulnerable women and children. "By combining capacities and successes of the two predecessor projects, VIRCA Plus is poised to make important strides in improving agricultural productivity for farmers and enhancing nutrition for smallholder households in East and West Africa," said Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator and Senior Research Scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and the principal investigator for VIRCA Plus. Partner institutes: The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, USA; the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Nigeria; the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)/ National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE) in Uganda; the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the ISAAA AfriCenter in Kenya; and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Nigeria. Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center's work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.


ST. LOUIS, MO, December 16, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announces that the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium of American, Nigerian, Ugandan, and Kenyan institutions recently received a five-year, $10.46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the livelihoods and health status of African farm families. Cassava is an important food and cash crop for small-holder farmers in Africa. It is the second most important staple food crop after maize in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately one-third of the population relies on its starchy tuberous roots for over 50 percent of their daily caloric intake. It grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility prevalent in many African countries. However, plant viral diseases can destroy up to 100 percent of a cassava crop yield, threatening livelihoods and leading to hunger. Although it is an excellent source of calories, cassava does not contain significant levels of key nutrients to meet minimum daily requirements, especially for women and children. The VIRCA Plus collaboration will address these challenges by developing and delivering two products. The first will be East African cassava varieties with resistance to both Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). The second will be a Nigerian cassava variety with elevated levels of iron and zinc for improved nutrition, as well as disease resistance. VIRCA Plus builds on the success of two predecessor projects. The VIRCA project successfully developed strong and stable resistance to CBSD in cassava, validated over four field trials and multiple cropping cycles in Kenya and Uganda. The BioCassava Plus project succeeded in developing and testing cassava plants that accumulated greater than 10 times more iron and zinc than comparable varieties. Both minerals are retained after processing into common foodstuffs at levels that could provide 40-70 percent of the Estimated Average Requirement for vulnerable women and children. "By combining capacities and successes of the two predecessor projects, VIRCA Plus is poised to make important strides in improving agricultural productivity for farmers and enhancing nutrition for smallholder households in East and West Africa," said Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator and Senior Research Scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and the principal investigator for VIRCA Plus. Partner institutes: The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, USA; the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Nigeria; the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)/ National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE) in Uganda; the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the ISAAA AfriCenter in Kenya; and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Nigeria. About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center's work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.


International Collaboration Receives Grant to Advance Improvements in Cassava Harvests and Nutrition for Smallholder Families in Sub-Saharan Africa Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium received a five-year, $10.46 million grant to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the status of African farm families. St. Louis, MO, December 16, 2016 --( Cassava is an important food and cash crop for small-holder farmers in Africa. It is the second most important staple food crop after maize in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately one-third of the population relies on its starchy tuberous roots for over 50 percent of their daily caloric intake. It grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility prevalent in many African countries. However, plant viral diseases can destroy up to 100 percent of a cassava crop yield, threatening livelihoods and leading to hunger. Although it is an excellent source of calories, cassava does not contain significant levels of key nutrients to meet minimum daily requirements, especially for women and children. The VIRCA Plus collaboration will address these challenges by developing and delivering two products. The first will be East African cassava varieties with resistance to both Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). The second will be a Nigerian cassava variety with elevated levels of iron and zinc for improved nutrition, as well as disease resistance. VIRCA Plus builds on the success of two predecessor projects. The VIRCA project successfully developed strong and stable resistance to CBSD in cassava, validated over four field trials and multiple cropping cycles in Kenya and Uganda. The BioCassava Plus project succeeded in developing and testing cassava plants that accumulated greater than 10 times more iron and zinc than comparable varieties. Both minerals are retained after processing into common foodstuffs at levels that could provide 40-70 percent of the Estimated Average Requirement for vulnerable women and children. “By combining capacities and successes of the two predecessor projects, VIRCA Plus is poised to make important strides in improving agricultural productivity for farmers and enhancing nutrition for smallholder households in East and West Africa,” said Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator and Senior Research Scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and the principal investigator for VIRCA Plus. Partner institutes: The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, USA; the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Nigeria; the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)/ National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE) in Uganda; the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the ISAAA AfriCenter in Kenya; and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Nigeria. About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter. St. Louis, MO, December 16, 2016 --( PR.com )-- The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announces that the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium of American, Nigerian, Ugandan, and Kenyan institutions recently received a five-year, $10.46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the livelihoods and health status of African farm families.Cassava is an important food and cash crop for small-holder farmers in Africa. It is the second most important staple food crop after maize in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately one-third of the population relies on its starchy tuberous roots for over 50 percent of their daily caloric intake. It grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility prevalent in many African countries. However, plant viral diseases can destroy up to 100 percent of a cassava crop yield, threatening livelihoods and leading to hunger. Although it is an excellent source of calories, cassava does not contain significant levels of key nutrients to meet minimum daily requirements, especially for women and children.The VIRCA Plus collaboration will address these challenges by developing and delivering two products. The first will be East African cassava varieties with resistance to both Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD). The second will be a Nigerian cassava variety with elevated levels of iron and zinc for improved nutrition, as well as disease resistance.VIRCA Plus builds on the success of two predecessor projects. The VIRCA project successfully developed strong and stable resistance to CBSD in cassava, validated over four field trials and multiple cropping cycles in Kenya and Uganda. The BioCassava Plus project succeeded in developing and testing cassava plants that accumulated greater than 10 times more iron and zinc than comparable varieties. Both minerals are retained after processing into common foodstuffs at levels that could provide 40-70 percent of the Estimated Average Requirement for vulnerable women and children.“By combining capacities and successes of the two predecessor projects, VIRCA Plus is poised to make important strides in improving agricultural productivity for farmers and enhancing nutrition for smallholder households in East and West Africa,” said Nigel Taylor, Ph.D., Dorothy J. King Distinguished Investigator and Senior Research Scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and the principal investigator for VIRCA Plus.Partner institutes: The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, USA; the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Nigeria; the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)/ National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (SCIFODE) in Uganda; the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the ISAAA AfriCenter in Kenya; and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)in Nigeria.About The Donald Danforth Plant Science CenterFounded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research aims to feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Donald Danforth Plant Science Center


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

UKIRIGURU, TANZANIA--(Marketwired - December 12, 2016) - Tanzania recently became a partner of the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project (NextGen), joining Nigeria and Uganda in the global effort to improve cassava breeding in Africa. This partnership is expected to enhance the project's efforts to improve livelihoods for African cassava farmers. "Partnering with NextGen should help us develop tools to address biotic stresses like cassava brown streak disease, cassava mosaic disease, and cassava green mite, and improve cassava root yields that will serve to increase cassava production countrywide," said Heneriko Kulembeka, cassava breeder and NextGen coordinator in Tanzania. "The NextGen project will assist in determining good parental lines for different traits of interest." "Tanzania has one of the foremost cassava breeding programs in Africa," said Chiedozie Egesi, NextGen manager of the Cornell University-led project. "Because Tanzania shares African cassava germplasm, they will benefit from the genomic predictions that NextGen has already developed, use of the NextGen Cassavabase database and capacity for improved phenotyping." Cassava is a vital crop in Tanzania, second only to maize in volume produced. More than 80 percent of farmers in the country grow cassava, producing about 4.5 million tons of cassava roots annually. About three-quarters of the crop is used for human consumption. The rest is used for livestock feed and industrial purposes. A widely preferred and hardy staple, cassava is often stored in the ground and locally processed as a source of food in times of famine. Cassava farmers face many challenges raising their crop. Tanzania loses an estimated 2.5 million tons each year to cassava brown streak disease, cassava mosaic disease, and cassava green mite. There is poor access to improved planting materials and processing technologies, limited use of fertilizers and herbicides, and low investment in cassava research and improvement. To address these challenges, researchers in Tanzania's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (DRD) will collaborate with scientists on the NextGen project largely through ongoing efforts at the Lake Zone Agricultural Research and Development Institute (LZARDI), the oldest agricultural research station in Tanzania. LZARDI scientists are well prepared to contribute to the efforts of NextGen partners through cassava-related research that includes breeding and improvement, molecular marker-assisted breeding for disease resistance, processing and product development, and agronomy studies. The NextGen Tanzania team consists of Kulembeka; Kiddo Mtunda, cassava breeder and coordinator (coastal Tanzania); Geoffrey Mkamilo, national team leader of the Cassava Research Program in Tanzania; Kasele Salum, assistant cassava breeder (Lake Zone); and Caroline Sichwale, assistant cassava breeder (Eastern Zone). NextGen is a global partnership led by International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and National Root Crops Research Institute breeding centers in Nigeria, the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda, DRD in Tanzania, the West African Centre for Crop Improvement in Ghana, Makerere University in Uganda, and the Boyce Thompson Institute, USDA-ARS, and the U.S. Department of Energy in the United States. The Cornell-led project is funded by a $25 million, five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, and is in its fourth year.


Eleazu C.O.,National Root Crops Research Institute | Eleazu K.C.,National Root Crops Research Institute
American Journal of Food Technology | Year: 2012

The physico-chemical composition and antioxidant potentials of 6 new varieties of Ginger was evaluated. Analysis of the percentage phenol, oleoresin, lipid, dry matter, crude fibre and ash contents of the ginger varieties using the Association of analytical chemists methods indicated that UGII7GY25 had the highest phenolic content (5.69±0.06) while UGII 7GY5 had the least (4.69±0.16) (p<0.05). In terms of ash content, while UGI5GY3 had the highest among the varieties studied (2.6±0.44), UGII5GY6 had the least (0.7±0.02). In addition, the ash contents of UGII5GY6 and UGII 11GY11 were higher than reported values for ginger unlike the values obtained for oleoresin, lipid and crude fibre that were lower than the reported values for ginger. The ginger varieties were also observed to possess strong antioxidant activities as seen from their scavenging activities on 2,2 diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical and reducing power tests. Correlation analysis carried out revealed that the total phenolic contents of the ginger varieties correlated negatively with their total oleoresin contents suggesting that the oleoresin contents of the ginger varieties may not have come from their phenolic constituents and that the oleoresins present could have little contribution to the antioxidant activities of the ginger varieties. In addition, the ginger varieties were observed to contain high quantities of phenols and this may be responsible for their high antioxidant activities. Finally, UGII5GY6 and UGII 11GY11 contains higher quantities of minerals than reported values for ginger. © 2012 Academic Journals Inc.


Ukpabi U.J.,National Root Crops Research Institute
Australian Journal of Crop Science | Year: 2010

Randomly selected tubers of lesser yam (Dioscorea esculenta) were converted to flour and used in bread making experimentations after blending it with wheat flour (at varying levels of lesser yam inclusion), with sole white wheat flour as a control. In addition to sensory and specific loaf volume evaluations of the experimental bread samples, the chemical (proximate), selected functional properties and paste characteristics of the experimental lesser yam and wheat flours were also determined. Results showed that on dry matter basis, the wheat flour had 11.50% protein and 1.74% fat while the corresponding values for the lesser yam flour were 7.19% protein and 1.10% fat. The maximum gelatinization temperature of the lesser yam flour paste (91.7°C) and wheat flour paste (94.8°C) were > 90°C ≤ 95°C with none of the experimental pastes having a maximum viscosity of > 700 Brabender Units. Bread produced with 20% lesser yam inclusion had 87% specific loaf volume of the control sample and was not significantly (P = 0.05) scored lower than the sole wheat bread in overall acceptability, taste, appearance and softness by the sensory assessors. Interestingly, all the bread samples made with the experimental lesser yam flour had no observable cracks on their respective crusts.


Context To determine the effect of livingstone potato (Plectranthus esculentus N.E.Br) on hepatic Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Methods The G6PD activities in the liver homogenates of the rats and chemical analysis of the test feeds were determined using standard techniques. Results The diabetic control rats had significant alteration (P<0.05) of their hepatic G6PD activities compared with the non-diabetic rats. Intake of the test feed by the diabetic rats of group 3, resulted in significant (P<0.05) amelioration of their hepatic G6PD activities in comparison with the diabetic control rats. Chemical analysis of the test feed revealed that it contained considerable amounts of tannins, saponins, alkaloids, antioxidants and their cyanide contents were below the toxic level for humans. Conclusion The study shows ameliorative potentials of livingstone potato on the hepatic G6PD activity of diabetic rats which is attributed to its antioxidant/polyphenolic constituents.

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