Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Genetic variability of wild populations of Phaseolus lunatus L. in the central valley of Costa Rica and its implications for the development of an in situ conservation strategy

Irié ZORO BI researcher laureate

°1967 Ivory Coast
Master's degree in Plant Physiology, Université d'Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1992

Variabilité génétique des populations sauvages de Phaseolus lunatus L. dans la vallée centrale du Costa Rica et ses implications dans la mise au point d'une stratégie de conservation in situ

Zoro Bi Irié's work has a real interest for development: indeed, it deals with the Lima bean, an important food crop of American origin, from Mexico to the North-West of Argentina (centre of the southern Andes), but nowadays cultivated in all tropical regions. The characterization of its genetic diversity is necessary for the selection of the diverse populations of this species, which should be conserved in order to safeguard its genetic resources. Therefore, the author utilized the electrophoresis of iso-enzymes on starch gel as genetic markers. He showed that the preservation of the genetic variability in small populations is ensured by the seed bank of the soil, which extends the effective population size beyond the number of the visible plants and avoids its impoverishment by genetic drift.
The study enabled the author to suggest recommendations for the conservation of genetic resources in natural conditions.
The doctoral thesis presented is remarkable by is experimental accuracy and report clarity, which shows that, without any doubt, the author took the best profit of his scientific training. The scientific results are of high scientific level. Furthermore, the whole presentation of the work is clear, neat and well detailed.

Report by Prof. Dr. Jean-Jacques Symoens, Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, Brussels, Belgium