Agriculture: Isolation and assessment of local mycorrhizal fungi for the improvement of yam growth

As a novel approach to protect yam seed material against pathogens, the proposed project assesses the occurrence and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in two African countries.

Soil samples that include AMF communities will be collected jointly by Flemish researchers and researchers from the provider country. The material will be used to analyse soil chemical parameters (pH, organic carbon, and phosphate content). Also, AMF spores will be isolated and identified.

The screening of AMF isolated for their potential to improve yam growth will be carried out in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Benin.

Techniques include soil sieving to collect fungi spores, species identification based on morphological characterization and molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Part of the screening will be carried out in Belgium.

AMF cultures will be sent to IITA for future uses.



Genetic resource: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF)

Access: In situ collection of soil samples

Utilization: Isolation and screening of AMF. This includes soil sieving to collect fungi spores, species identification based on morphology and molecular PCR. Cultivation of yam plants in pots together with AMF.

Stakeholders involved in ABS-procedures: Flemish University and Competent National Authorities of the two provider countries. The involvement of the research institute of the provider country in the ABS negotiations depends on the national regulation of the provider country.

Steps: Apply for PIC and negotiate MAT for the research on the AMF; inquire for conditions of the IITA for utilizing yam tubers.

Notes: Yam is a PGRFA. Therefore, access to the tubers falls under the International Treaty. It is included in Annex I of the International Treaty. Yet, access in situ of Annex I varieties is defined by the provider country.