DEPARTMENT OF BIOSCIENCES

ACTING HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: DR. MRS O. A ONAWUMI

Bioscience department comprise of two sections namely Soils & Tree Nutrition and Biotechnology. The department was carved out of the Sustainable Forest Management Department in the year 2015

Mandate

    • Improvement techniques for sustainable management of depleted soil, site adaptability and nutritional requirement of tree species across various ecosystem
    • Improvement of soil management practices for rapid growth of indigenous and exotic species
    • Development of low cost organic based fertilizer from local materials
    • Soil survey and mapping
    • Routine soil and plant analyses
    • Protocol development for the in vitro and mass propagation of indigenous and exotic tree species
    • Solving challenges associated with seed dormancy and propagation difficulties towards reforestation / afforestation efforts
    • Raising pest- free and disease free seedlings
    • Molecular characterization /genetic improvement of forest tree species of economic importance
    • Germplasm conservation of threatened tree species

    SOILS AND TREE NUTRITION SECTION MANDATES

    • Improvement of soil management practices for rapid growth of indigenous and exotic forest trees of economic importance.
    • Development of Agro-forestry soil and conditions for the integration of forest trees of economic importance into farming system in different ecological zones of Nigeria.
    • Studies of nutritional requirement of tree species using organic and inorganic fertilization.
    • Nutrient cycling and control in forest stands.
    • Soil survey and mapping.
    • Improvement techniques for sustainable management of depleted soils.
    • Site adaptability and nutritional requirement of tree species across various ecosystems.
    • Development of low cost organic based fertilizers from local raw materials.
    • Routine soil and plant analysis.
                                  
    The mandates of the Biotechnology section include:

    • Protocol development for the in vitro and mass propagation of indigenous and exotic tree species

    • Solving challenges associated with seed dormancy, propagation difficulties towards reforestation/afforestation efforts.

    • Raising pest- and disease-free seedlings

    • Molecular characterization /genetic improvement of forest tree species of economic importance

    • Germplasm conservation of threatened and near extinct forest tree species.

    The section over the years has been able to develop protocols for the micro-propagation of various tree species exotic and indigenous after carrying out several trials, these include Nauclea diderrichii, Khaya senegalensis, Khaya. ivorensis, Parkia sp., Mansonia altissima, Treculia africana,Garcinia kola, Terminalia ivorensis, T. superba among others. It has also been able to carry out the tissue culture of some medicinal and ornamental species like Ficus carpensis, Acacia nilolitica, Eucalyptus calmadulensis, Piliostigma thoningii Albizia lebbeck, Jatropha curcas, etc..

    • Regular training of IT students from different institutions. Students from different institutes in the past have benefited from the Section by paying to carry out their bench work in our laboratories.

    • An ‘Acclimatization chamber’ was provided for the purpose of transferring the plantlets to the field. Efforts are on-going at acclimatizing plantlets raised in-vitro prior to their being established in the nursery. I. On-going activities.

    • Efforts are being made to characterize various tree species for the purposes of improving their genetic make-up hence develop improved species or novel plants.

    • Efforts are on-going to improve on our micro-propagation activities.

    • Protoplast fusion: Protoplasts are the cells of which cell walls are removed and cytoplasmic membrane is the outermost layer in such cells. Protoplast fusion is a physical phenomenon, during fusion two or more protoplasts come in contact and adhere with one another either spontaneously or in presence of fusion inducing agents. By protoplast fusion it is possible to transfer some useful genes such as disease resistance, nitrogen-fixation, rapid growth rate, more product formation rate, protein quality, frost hardiness, drought resistance, herbicide resistance, heat and cold resistance from one species to another. Protoplast fusion has been used to combine genes from different organisms to create strains with desired properties. We have not been able to carry this out due to some constraints.

    • Genetic modification/engineering: this is for the purpose of solving most of the challenges faced through the conventional methods of propagation

    RESEARCH ACTIVIES CARRIED OUT SINCE INCEPTION

    • Plantlets regeneration from seeds of Eucalyptus camaldulensis

    • Callus Induction and Shoot Regeneration from leaves of Jatropha curcas.

    • Embryo Culture of of Azadirachta indica and Ficus capensis.

    • In-Vitro Propagation of Some Indigenous Tree species i.eMilicia excelsa and Afzelia africana.

    • Protocol development for mass propagation of Khaya ivorensis, K. gradifoliola, Entadrophragma utile, Lovoa trachidiodes, Guearea cedrata etc

    • In-vitro propagation of Eucalyptus camadulensis, Nauclea diderichii, Milicia excelsa and Afzelia africana using seed culture and cotyledon technique respectively.

    • In-vitro Propagation of Eucalyptus camaldulensis using seed culture technique and protocol development for the mass propagation of African mahoganies and in-vitro propagation of Naucleadiderrichi

    • In-vitro propagation of Milicia excelsa using nodal cuttings culture techniques.

    • Characterization and mass propagation of Albizia lebbeck

    • Molecular Characterization of some selected mahogany species

    • In-vitro propagaion of Alanbliankia floribunda

    • Protocol development for the mass propagation of Jatropha curcas

    • In-vitro Propagation of acacia nilotica

    • In-vitro propagation of Tectona grandis using seeds

    • In-vitro Propagation of Albizia lebbeck

    • In-Vitro Propagation of Treculia africana

    • Organogensis of Jatropha caucas using seed and embryo culture techniques.

    • In-vitro propagation of Mansonia altissima using the seed and nodal culture techniques.

    • Germplasm conservation of Nauclea diderrichii through tissue culture technique.

    • In vitro propagation of Garcinia Kola.

    • In vitro propagation of Mansonia altissima A.Chev using nodal culture.

    • In-vitro propagation of Detarium microcarpum Guill. & Perr. towards ex-situ conservation