Dr. Chuansheng Mei, Chief Scientist at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), presented in a workshop regarding the potential of endophytic microbes (or helpful bacteria) in sub-Saharan African farming systems at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, from May 16-17, 2023. Dr. Mei, who leads much of the research at the Endophyte Research Center at IALR, was one of 20 presenters from eight countries.
At the two-day workshop, pioneers in endophyte research from around the world discussed challenges and opportunities from academic and industry perspectives and began the process of developing a roadmap and vision for future investment opportunities and research questions.
“It was a great honor to participate in this workshop at the Gates Foundation,” Dr. Mei said. “It was a unique opportunity to collaborate with global leaders in this field and discuss the potential and application of endophytes to enhance food production.”
Throughout the two-day workshop, the participants explored medium- and long-term opportunities to develop these bio-inputs to deliver major nutrients to crops with specific use cases relevant to small-scale producers (maize, sorghum, tropical legumes and root crops).
With public-private partnerships and funding, talented scientists and exclusive equipment, the Plant Endophyte Research Center has established IALR as a national leader in the exploration of endophyte potential.