Nigerian PhD Research update

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I am Ojo Comfort Tinuade, one of the N2Africa PhD rstudents with Wageningen University and a Research Fellow with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan. My research interest is to explore the potential benefits of rhizobia inoculation with cowpea. My research activities includes estimating the population density of indigenous rhizobia in soil samples collected from Northern Nigeria, isolation and identification of highly competitive and efficient rhizobia strains from Nigerian soils.  

Figure 1, left: Growth of cowpea one week after inoculation with dilutions of the soil samples

Figure 2, right: One week after inoculation with soil

For the first six months at the start of the PhD programme, I developed my research proposal with supervisors in Wageningen University, took some courses and a qualifying exams. I am presently in my home country for the research activities in International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan. The list of activities I am working on presently include; soil sample collection in Kano, Kaduna and Niger states. These areas were chosen because they are predominantly cowpea cultivated region in Nigeria, 54 soil samples were collected), physicochemical analysis, estimating the population of the indigenous rhizobia in soils using the most probable number techniques (ten-fold dilution series in six consecutive steps). Figure 1 show growth of cowpea after one week of inoculation with dilutions of the soil samples. The next activity will be a glasshouse experiment that will involve a competition experiment between known elite rhizobia strain and indigenous rhizobia strains with cowpea.

Comfort Ojo, Wageningen University, The Netherlands