MUST Launches a Plant Nematology Laboratory
Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) has officially launched a Plant Nematology Laboratory, a first of its kind in the region. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, officially launched the Plant laboratory in an event that was attended by members of the University Management Board, Deans, Directors and students.
“Today, we gather here to celebrate this ground breaking event marking the opening of the Plant Nematology Laboratory. This is indeed a significant milestone in our great institution.” Prof. Romanus Odhiambo
The Vice-Chancellor acknowledged everyone involved in this remarkable project;
- VLIR-UOS, for supporting the partnership between Meru University of Science and Technology and Moi University and providing the project funding. Prof. Odhiambo appreciated Prof. Godelieve Gheysen (the Belgian promoter) and Dr. Njira Pili (the local promoter) for their immense support.
- The International Foundation for Science for the financial support. The Vice Chancellor thanked Ingrid Lindhe and Jill Wallin.
- Cecilia Wanjau, a lecturer at MUST and a trained Nematologist who has studied a Master of Science in Nematology. Ms. Wanjau has initiated several nematode projects involving both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The Plant Nematology laboratory has three sections; the bench area, preparation room and an office. The laboratory is well equipped with various microscopes and nematode extraction and preservation equipment. It is immediately available for use by postgraduate students. The laboratory will also benefit farmers who need help in nematode diagnosis and management.
Plant nematodes are small, microscopic worms that feed on plants. They cause severe damage on roots resulting to yield decline in all major crops including potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, maize, coffee and finger millet among many others. They are diverse and largely under-researched, especially in Africa. With the launch of the plant nematology laboratory, MUST is now well positioned to create awareness among all stakeholders and build capacity in Nematology in order to mitigate negative economic impact in Agricultural production.