Kebede Denberu Aragaw (Ethiopia)

Kebede Denberu Aragaw

Research project title:  Evaluation of Endophytes Associated with Maize and Entomopathogenic Fungi against the Spotted Stem Borer, Chilo partellus.

Kebede is a DRIP MSc fellow supervised by Dr Tadele Tefera (icipe) and Dr Tesfaye Alemu (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia). My research interest focuses on Microbial physiology and biochemistry, Molecular biology, environmental and agricultural implications of microorganisms. And now, I am working on maize endophyic microorganisms (both bacteria and fungi) and entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) (Beauveria spp. and Metarhizium spp). Various approaches have been made to control maize stem borers including cultural, physical, biological, chemical and most recently development of host resistance. However, each option for managing the damaging effect of stem borers on maize has its own limitations. In natural ecosystems plants are potential hosts for a broad spectrum of microbes (usually bacteria and fungi) and each plant species harbors one to hundreds of endophytes having their own functions in protecting their host from various factors. Hence, this study focuses on evaluation of maize endophytic microbes and EPF strains (Beauveria spp. and Metarhizium spp) against the spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus.