Richard Oteng-Frimpong (PhD)
My work has been on exploring the natural variation within groundnut populations to develop groundnut varieties that are tolerant to abiotic stress (mainly low soil fertility and drought). The focus has been on identifying genetic variations for biological nitrogen fixation and phosphorus use efficiency within groundnut populations. Total nitrogen fixed, is quantified and mechanisms of phosphorus uptake are studied. Genotypes that exhibit superiority in terms of nitrogen fixation and /or phosphorus use efficiency are selected and used as parents to improve the farmers’ preferred varieties. Water-use efficiency as a surrogate of drought tolerance is also being explored with some promising leads. Separate breeding pipelines have been set up to develop early maturing varieties (drought escape) with resistance to major foliar diseases and over 10% increase in genetic gain over existing varieties is being targeted. These pipelines will combine both molecular and conventional plant breeding approaches. At the same time, a collaboration with scientists from the soil chemistry department is underway to update and refine site-specific fertilizer recommendation for groundnut cultivation in the Guinea savanna zone of Ghana through extensive field experimentation and modeling. Again the use of ground oyster shells (locally sourced and relatively affordable) as a source of calcium to promote pod development while reducing on-farm aflatoxin contamination is being explored.
TECHNOLOGIES/INNOVATIONS DEVELOPED THAT ARE IMPACTING ON SOCIETY
Currently promoting the cultivation of 3 improved groundnut varieties (Nkatiesari, Kpanielli, Gusie-Balin) developed by CSIR-SARI among farmers in the Guinea savanna zone of Ghana. These varieties are more tolerant to biotic and abiotic stress and in all cases yield at least 20% more than the most widely cultivated variety ‘Chinese’. Additionally, these genotypes have stay-green properties which fetch farmers extra money through the sale of haulms for livestock feeding after harvest. Row planting, using recommended spacing is also promoted among farmers to ensure optimum ground populations with the added benefit of weed control and improved yield.
PUBLICATIONS AND MANUALS
Fact sheet - Early and late leaf spot diseases
Fact sheet - Good agronomic practices in groundnut
Fact sheet - Improved and available groundnut varieties
PUBLICATIONS AND JOURNALS
Oteng-Frimpong R, Levy Y, Torkpo SK, Danquah EY, Offei SK and Gafni Y (2012). Complete genome sequencing of two causative viruses of cassava mosaic disease in Ghana. Acta virologica, 56, 305–314. doi:10.4149/av_2012_04_305
Oteng-Frimpong R, Sriswathi M, Ntare BR and Dakora FD (2015). Assessing the genetic diversity of 48 groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes in the Guinea savanna agro-ecology of Ghana, using microsatellite-based markers. African Journal of Biotechnology, 14(32) 2484 – 2493. doi: 10.5897/AJB2015.14770
Martey E, Wiredu AN and Oteng-Frimpong R (2015). Baseline study of groundnut in Northern Ghana. LAP Lambert academic publishing. p.51
Dakora FD, Belane AK, Keletso C. Mohale KC, Makhubedu TI, Makhura P, Pule-Meulenberg F, Mapope N, Mokgehle SN, Gyogluu C, Phatlane GP, Muhaba S, Mokobane F, and Oteng-Frimpong R (2014) Food grain legumes: their contribution to soil fertility, food security and human nutrition/health in Africa. In: de Bruijn FJ (ed) Biological Nitrogen Fixation. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 1063 – 1070.