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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

chambalala celebration
Attendants of the Annual Fiche-Chambalala celebration in Hawassa (Photo: Awramba Times)
ምንጭ፦ ኣራምባ ታይምስ

Ensete ventricosum.jpgAbstract


Enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman; Musaceae) is a multipurpose drought-tolerant food security crop with high conservation and improvement concern in Ethiopia, where it supplements the human calorie requirements of around 20 million people. The crop also has an enormous potential in other regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is known only as a wild plant. Despite its potential, genetic and genomic studies supporting breeding programs and conservation efforts are very limited. Molecular methods would substantially improve current conventional approaches. Here we report the development of the first set of SSR markers from enset, their cross-transferability to Musa spp., and their application in genetic diversity, relationship and structure assessments in wild and cultivated enset germplasm.


SSR markers specific to E. ventricosum were developed through pyrosequencing of an enriched genomic library. Primer pairs were designed for 217 microsatellites with a repeat size > 20 bp from 900 candidates. Primers were validated in parallel by in silico and in vitro PCR approaches. A total of 67 primer pairs successfully amplified specific loci and 59 showed polymorphism. A subset of 34 polymorphic SSR markers were used to study 70 both wild and cultivated enset accessions. A large number of alleles were detected along with a moderate to high level of genetic diversity. AMOVA revealed that intra-population allelic variations contributed more to genetic diversity than inter-population variations. UPGMA based phylogenetic analysis and Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components show that wild enset is clearly separated from cultivated enset and is more closely related to the out-group Musa spp. No cluster pattern associated with the geographical regions, where this crop is grown, was observed for enset landraces. Our results reaffirm the long tradition of extensive seed-sucker exchange between enset cultivating communities in Southern Ethiopia.


The first set of genomic SSR markers were developed in enset. A large proportion of these markers were polymorphic and some were also transferable to related species of the genus Musa. This study demonstrated the usefulness of the markers in assessing genetic diversity and structure in enset germplasm, and provides potentially useful information for developing conservation and breeding strategies in enset.

Ensete ventricosum ; DNA pyrosequencing; SSR markers; Genetic diversity; Musa ; Cross-genera transferability

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Reuters Africa 
ADDIS ABABA Aug 4 (Reuters) - Ethiopia's inflation rose to 11.9 percent year-on-year in July from 10.4 the previous month, owing to a rise in both food and non-food prices, the statistics office said on Tuesday.
The Central Statistics Agency said food price inflation increased to 13.9 percent from 12.4 percent in June, thanks largely to a rise in the prices of items such as meat, fruits, vegetables and cereals.
The non-food inflation rate rose to 9.7 percent in July from 8.2 percent the previous month.

It seems the chance of the Ethiopian National Football Team to reach the group stage in the World Cup qualifiers is highly likely, the national football fans suggested. Ethiopia will meet first Sao Tome e Principe in World Cup qualifier in mid-October. A win in the home and away match will give the national side to face Congo in the second round.
Fifty-three African countries were in the draw made in Russia's city of St. Petersburg a couple of weeks earlier. The only country out of the draw was Zimbabwe following their FIFA expulsion for failing to pay a former coach.
The format of the World Cup qualifiers also helps the national side to progress up to the decisive stage. Just look at the format: the winners in the first round advance to the second round, where they will play a two-legged play off, before the 20 second round winners go into five groups of four, with the winners of that group stage qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
This means if the national team succeed in winning over Sao Tome e Principe in the first round, then they will meet Congo. A win over Congo will put them in group stage. There will be five groups. Those who emerge first in the five groups will go to Russia representing Africa. Reaching in the group stage is relatively easy but emerging first from the group is a tough job.
There is a fear in the continental football governing body, CAF, about maintaining the already allocated five African spots in the World Cup finals. Europe takes the highest share in the finals. The natural second in the allocation of spots are the Latin Americans. Asia and North Americans spots are below Africa. Europe claims more than 13 spots believing that the countries are tough contenders. Asia and North American countries want to gain more spots claiming that they are the upcoming football powers of the world.
Considering this CAF always wants the five African representatives to show extra vigour to defend what Africa already has. A better performance will lead to request additional spots. If all African representatives face early exit, the danger of reducing the spots will be on the table. Due to this CAF wants a strong show in the World Cup finals.
With this in mind weaker Eastern African teams like the Ethiopian and Kenyan teams are not welcome to qualify for the finals. Experienced teams like Cameroon, the Indomitable Lions, Ghana, the Black Star, Algeria- Africa's highest ranked nation - are by far the darlings of the African event organizers.
For the national side it may be extremely difficult to go through to the finals. The glimmer of hope is reaching the group stage. Ethiopia reached the final group ten stage during the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers. For the national team that was, in fact, the best result so far registered in World Cup qualifiers. Repeating that feat is a step forward for the name and prestige of the national side.
The same is true in the fourth African Championship, widely known as CHAN Cup. The Ethiopian National Football Team advanced to the second round beating Kenya with an aggregate 2-0 result. The national side are through due to the first leg 2-0 win over the visiting side Kenya coupled with a goalless tie in the second leg in Nairobi.
CHAN is a continental competition organized for locally-based players. The logic for only home-based stars to compete in the CHAN is to give local talent international exposure because many African national teams are dominated by foreign-based players. It is said that the last three championships (CHAN finals) has hit its intended target.
The national side will meet Burundi who beat Djibouti with an aggregate 4-1 result in the second round. In the eyes of many football fans it is possible to knock out Burundi in the home and away matches.
If the national team succeed in winning over Burundi they will get a ticket for the Rwandan CHAN finals which will be the second in a row. The national team took part for the first time in the third CHAN in South Africa two years ago. Former head coach Sewnet Bishaw guided the national side into that final. The CHAN Cup qualification is within reach but for the World Cup qualifiers reaching the group stage is what is expected most.
The 4th CHAN will take place in Rwanda. A total of 42 countries are set to chase 15 places at the 2016 finals while Rwanda qualify automatically as hosts of the tournament that runs from 16 January to 7 February, 2016.
Recently, The Ethiopian Herald caught up with Prof. Dr. Fisseha-Tsion Menghistu to get his insights on issues dealt at the 3rd International conference on Finance for Development (FfD). Prof. Dr. Fisseha-Tsion Menghistu has academic credential and 46 years working experience in the field of taxation and investment. He has served his country at various levels including, adviser to Ministry of Finance during the imperial regime, lecturer at Mekelle and Addis Ababa University, and up until recently he has worked as Vice President for Planning, Development and External Relations, at International Leadership Institute (ILI). Hereunder follows the first part of the interview.
Read more at allafrica.com