Chijioke Emmanuel Okpokoro

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Chijioke acquired a bachelor degree (Biochemistry) in 2015 at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria. Shortly after his national youth service he moved to Perth in July 2017 where he is currently completing his Master of Biotechnology degree at The University of Western Australia specialising in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, due to his interest in Plant genomics research he joined Batley lab in March 2018 where he has been looking at identifying and characterising resistance genes.

Research Interests

Plant Genetics and Genomics, Blackleg resistance, Resistance genes, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Current Projects

Identification and characterisation of candidate resistance genes towards Leptospaheria maculans in Brassica napus

Brassica napus popularly known as canola is a plant of high agricultural importance for the production of cooking oil and margarine. However, this crop is under threat of blackleg disease (caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans) which has resulted in an estimated yield loss of US$900 million each year in North America, Europe and Australia. Nineteen genes encoding resistance traits against L. maculans have been genetically mapped in Brassica species, with only two cloned. In addition, 16 avirulence genes from the pathogen, that interact with these resistance genes, have been mapped with nine cloned. These mapped regions often called quantitative trait loci (QTL) contains many genes that are not linked to disease resistance, along with the candidate resistance genes. Therefore, there is a need to narrow down this region for identification of the candidate disease resistance genes. Chijioke’s research project is aimed at identifying the candidate resistance genes LepR1 and LepR2 that have been mapped to chromosomes A2 and A10 of Brassica rapa, respectively, by screening for single nucleotide polymorphisms within these pre-identified QTLs that associate with phenotype as well as studying the presence-absence variations seen across these QTLs.


Contact Details

Chijioke Emmanuel Okpokoro

Room 1.122, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

The University of Western Australia

Crawley, WA 6009, Perth, Australia