Solanum aethiopicum is an important vegetable widely cultivated and utilized in most African countries. The crop is rich in micronutrients and surplus produce can be sold in local and regional markets to generate income. Despite its importance, very little research has been done on the crop.
Afri-SOL is undertaking a whole genome sequencing (WGS) of S. aethiopicum and assembling the resulting data for use in molecular breeding programs. We will further fully characterize the transcriptome in order to understand different functional pathways utilized by the plant during various processes.
The project is training one PhD student in plant genetics and genomics as well as in Bioinformatics. The activities of the project are being undertaken in collaboration with Uganda Christian University, Uganda and Bvumbwe Research Station, Malawi. There is need however for further collaboration.