Head and Director
Enoch G. Achigan-Dako (PhD),
Associate Professor | Genetics, Plant Breeding & Crop Evolution, Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seed Science, Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin.
Gérard Tokponmi joined the GBioS Laboratory in 2018 as an administrative assistant. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Administration; option Labor Administration and Social Security. Gérard’s experience includes drafting administrative documents, organizing meetings and conferences, managing incoming and outgoing mail and coordinator’s schedules, and establishing work contracts for projects and programs managed by the Laboratory. Open-minded, rigorous and professional in his work, he is an excellent collaborator and an eternal enthusiast with a passion for serving others and learning new skills. This is the reason why he is currently enrolled in a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Nicodème V. Fassinou Hotegni
Fassinou Hotegni V. Nicodème is committed to global agriculture development mainly the improvement of the access of smallholder farmers to more lucrative markets. His research interests focus on (i) improving cropping systems of crops mainly horticultural crops (ii) designing of ecologically friendly cropping practices with high yield and quality product meeting the market requirements (stakeholders quality expectations) (iii) studying biological and environmental factors affecting postharvest life of fruits, vegetables and (iv) using agronomic tools to extend postharvest life of fruits and vegetable.
Charlotte A. O. Adje Mondegnon
Charlotte A. Adje is interested in breeding and improvement of vegetatively propagated crops. Her research focused on pineapple (Ananas comosus), an economically important crop in Benin. She uses phenetic methods and novel genomic technologies to explore the morphological and genetic variation captured in both in situ and ex situ collections of pineapple in Benin and to identify superior genotypes. She is also interested in the use of tissue culture technique to produce disease free planting materials and to maximize multiplication rate.
Deedi O. Sogbohossou
Deedi is interested in breeding african vegetables with potential to contribute to nutritional and food security in Africa. She is convinced that demand-led breeding based on local communities’ knowledge can tremendously improve orphan crops breeding on the continent. At GBioS, she works with a team on breeding different species for nutritional value including spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra) and amaranths (Amaranthus spp.) She is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Biosystematics Group (Wageningen University, NL) where she is developing different breeding populations for fine-mapping of candidate genes involved in carotenoids and tocopherols in spider plant, an orphan leafy vegetable widely consumed in Africa and Asia. Her research approach spans assessment of the diversity in the species at the genome, metabolome and morphological levels and candidate gene discovery using conventional breeding approaches. Her long-term goal to develop nutrient-rich cultivars of promising African vegetables for regional markets.
Dassekpo is documenting the knowledge systems of Newbouldia laevis, a medicinal plant which utilization is deeply rooted in community practices. He is using ethnobotanical approaches to understand how local populations exploit the species from urban to rural settings. This project is part of a comprehensive framework for the environmental impact assessment with Newbouldia laevis as a case study. It will help design conservation actions for the species.
Alcade C. Segnon
Alcade’s research is at the interface of agricultural sustainability and utilization and conservation of plant resources in agroecosystems. He is particularly interested in how agrobiodiversity and knowledge that local communities share on it can be used to design agroecological farming systems and improve smallholders’ food security and livelihoods in the context of climate variability and change. His PhD research is exploring patterns in vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change in semi-arid areas of West Africa with the aim of identifying enablers and barriers for effective and sustained adaptation practices and options to inform policy decision-making process. Specifically, he is investigating how and to what extend harnessing agrobiodiversity could improve adaptive capacity and/or reduce vulnerability to climatic and non-climatic stressors in semi-arid areas of West Africa. Alcade’s PhD work is within the framework of ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) programme. ASSAR is one of the four research programmes funded under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
Dèdéou A. Tchokponhoué
Dèdéou’s research interest is at the interface of the conservation and the improvement of perennial wild fruit species. He is interested in any aspects pertaining to the genetic and physiological improvement, seed biology and physiology, and horticulture of these resources. His study species included Annona senegalensis, Synsepalum dulcificum, Vitex doniana, Vitellaria paradoxa, and Ximenia americana. Dedeou’s PhD research focused on generating sufficient knowledge to advance the development of end-users-tailored cultivars in some of the above-mentioned species.
Aristide Carlos Houdegbe
Modern plant breeding techniques (Marker-assisted breeding, Genome Wide-Association Studies, gene mapping and editing) are one of the most efficient and powerful tools for increasing food production in response to the growing population and the changing climate. Carlos’ investigation focuses on the merging modern and classical plant breeding techniques to understand the genetic basis of farmers’ desired traits and to develop high yielding and diseases resistance cultivars adapted to different agro-ecological regions of Benin for African orphan leafy vegetables and staple crops. His ultimate goal is to increase the productivity and consumption of these crops in order to ensure food and nutrition security as well as to increase smallholder farmers incomes
Chaldia A. Agossou
Chaldia Agossou is interested in using modern breeding technique to increase crop yield in order to contribute to food security in Africa. She specifically targets pulses and legumes as model species. She is currently working on seed yield improvement in Macrotyloma species, an orphan legumes in Benin.
Félicien Akohoue is interested in the rapid development of crop varieties with high resistances to biotic and abiotic stresses while maximizing the rate of yield increment to cope with the increased food and feed demand caused by the expanding global population. He focuses on the combination of conventional and molecular breeding techniques from simple breeding to speed breeding to: (i) assemble and enhance the genetic diversity within crop species, (ii) depict agronomic and farmers’ preferred traits under biotic and abiotic stress conditions, (ii) develop high yielding and stress resistant varieties with farmers’ desired traits and (iii) contribute to designing improved and climate resilient agronomic practices for an intensive and sustainable production of new crop varieties.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is the main key cash crop for market gardeners in Benin. While local tomato cultivars represent 80% of tomato production in Benin and are preferred by consumers because of their organoleptic quality and affordability, high yield losses due to bacterial and fungal diseases and short shelf life are key constraints to local cultivars. Idrissou is currently investigating the genetic basis of various traits in local tomato cultivars, including yield, fruit thickness, fruits shelf life, dry matter content, in order to inform tomato breeding and improvement efforts in Benin.
Fernand Silvère Sohindji
The adoption of orphan crops in large production systems is one of the most targets to be achieved in Africa. Thus, Fernand is interested in the evolution of seed dormancy and germination of orphan crops in order to improve its germination ability for high production. His MSc research focused on spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra L. (Briq)), an African leafy vegetable species, and aimed at assessing the natural variation of seed dormancy among accessions from Asia and Africa (East and West). This study opens access to genetic basis study for Spider plant seed dormancy in the future by identifying different levels of seed dormancy from non-dormant, rather dormant to strong dormant accessions and differential sensitivity of accessions to storage temperatures and seed pre-treatments.
Ulrich’s research focuses on cropping systems analysis to identify entry point for agricultural intensification. He is currently exploring avenues for improvement of Beninese pineapple cropping systems which will produce high quality fruit and competitive on national, regional and international markets. Specifically, he is testing the effect of different fertilizer types, fertilizer rates and period of application on fruit quality. In addition, he is testing various plant densities in pineapple-maize intercropping systems so as to propose the plant density which allows optimal production in intercropping systems in Benin. Ulrich is also interested in improving pineapple seedling propagation methods to ensure availability of quality material, which is currently a limiting factor for intensification of pineapple production in Benin.
In the developing countries of Africa and Asia where people are facing severe food shortages, crop losses due to pests and diseases are still higher than elsewhere in the world. Rachidi A. Francisco is interested in the development of suitable pest management technologies which are profitable, safe and durable at the same time. Hence, he is highly motivated in the using of basic knowledge of Pests-Host interaction combined with the genomic tools to solve problems posed by pests and diseases in plant production.
Seed is the most irreplaceable input in all cropping system. Using quality is important for a better crop stands, for the improvement of yield and harvest quality, and indispensable for food security achievement worldwide. Xavier is then Interested in improving orphan species’ seed quality by applying the principles of seed science and technology. His objectives are to (i) develop roadmap for orphan seed production (ii) to help seed companies, farmers and genetic resources conservator in minimizing decline in seed quality (Viability and Vigor) during post-harvest activities viz. drying, threshing and storage, and (iii) made available protocols, which meet international seed testing standard, for orphan seed quality evaluation.
Mouizz is interested in breeding orphan crops that can contribute to nutritional and food security in Africa. He is currently working on quantitative genetic analysis of leaf yield and its components in spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra), a neglected leafy vegetable known for its medicinal and nutritional properties and widely consumed in Africa and Asia. His main goal is to improve the leaf yield of Gynandropsis gynandra through the development of high yielding hybrids cultivars adapted to local ecological conditions.
Guillaume J. Bodjrenou
To find alternative sources of crops to address food and nutrition security problems of communities and households, Guillaume Bodjrenou’s research is part of the promotion of neglected and under-utilized crop species (NUCS), in particular the improvement of the yield of the Kerstingnut species (Macrotyloma geocarpum) which has a high economic value for farmers and a palatable taste.Guillaume Bodjrenou is interested in analyzing the genotype×environmental interaction of Kerstingnut accessions, their adaptability and phenotypic stability in different environments using the AMMI model
Bernadette Hgnonamede Boyiako
While a hunger has been a common human problem, there is relatively little awareness of the quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrient. In Sub-Saharan Africa, various peoples have known the importance of eating foods to prevent the outbreak of symptoms associated with micronutrients deficiencies. Bernadette Hegnonamede Boyiako is interested to the Food Technology, Processing, conservation and security. Her MSc. research focuses on improvement of nutritional content of cassava mahewu through the addition of carrots and beetroot. The main goal of her research is the production of new product from cassava and being an alternative way for people consuming cassava mahewu obtaining micronutrient from diet in order to address the micronutrient deficiencies which are considered a public health concern in developing countries.
Eric Cocou Legba
Eric Cocou Legba is interested in breeding, conservation and valorization of the uses of sweet berry plant (Synsepalum dulcificum), a perennial wild fruit species. He is currently investigating the genetic variation, and traditional knowledge of sweet berry plant (Synsepalum dulcificum), one of our orphan crop used by the local communities to consume tart and sour food. This study aims to improve the productivity of Synsepalum dulcificum base on the farmer’s preferences to reduce diabetic’s rate in West Africa. His research project is funded by the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme of the European Union genes project.