Gene Conserve

An electronic journal devoted to plant genetic resources:
Their formation, conservation and utilization
ISSN 1808-1878

   Editorial Board

Indexed in CAB, CAB International, Latindex,
Agris, SPARC Europe, EBSCO and DOAJ





Zerihun Tadele
Researcher, Institute of Plant Sciences
University of Bern, Switzerland



Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern,
Altenbergrain 21, CH-3013 Bern, Switzerland.
Tel. +41 31 631 49 56,
Fax +41 31 631 49 42


Zerihun Tadele holds BSc in Plant Sciences from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), MSc in Agronomy Alemaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia, and Ph.D in Molecular Biology, University of Basel, Switzerland.

He has working experience as Researcher in Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Post-doctorial Researcher at the Institute of Plant Sciences in the University of Bern, and currently as a Leader of the Tef Biotechnology Project, based at the Institute of Plant Sciences in the University of Bern. He teaches Plant Biotechnology since 2003 and Tropical Agriculture since 2009 at the same University.

His research interest is on improving economically important but under-researched crops from developing world. His current Tef Biotechnology Project focuses on tackling the major yield limiting factor in tef (Eragrostis tef), a cereal crop of major importance in Ethiopia. The crop is particularly useful because it adapts to diverse climatic and soil conditions and also tolerates many pests and diseases. In addition to its nutritional advantages, the seeds of tef are free of gluten, a substance found in crops like wheat for which high number of people are allergic. Although growing tef has many advantages, compared to other cereals, the average grain yield obtained from the crop is one of the lowest. Crop lodging is the major constraint to increasing the yield of tef. The plant has a tall and slender stem which is susceptible to damage by wind and rain. The problem of lodging is aggravated particularly when optimum amount of fertilizer is applied to increase the yield. As a consequence, the yield from the crop is severely reduced in terms of total grain yield and quality. The major objective of the Tef Biotechnology Project is to utilize a technique called TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) in order to obtain a semi-dwarf tef lines that are tolerant to lodging while responsive to fertilizer application. TILLING is successfully implemented in cereal crops such as maize, barley, wheat and recently in sorghum.






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