ALUMNI STORIES:ITAM Michael Okoi
Name of United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences:Tottori University
Assigned university:Tottori university
Specialized field:Global Dryland Sciences (Molecular Breeding)
Research theme:Elucidation of Aegilops tauschii contribution to heat and drought tolerance diversity in bread wheat through genomics and metabolomics
Obtained (planned) degree/date:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. Agriculture) September 2021
I was born and raised in Nigeria and came to Tottori University, Japan in 2015 as a research student. Then I enrolled in a master’s program in 2016 and went on to obtain a Ph.D. degree in September 2021.
Abiotic stresses such as heatwaves and drought episodes have been a persistent problem hindering global agriculture. This problem has been exacerbated by climate change and the rising global population. It is, therefore, necessary to develop new methods to ensure sustainable agricultural productivity. To this end, my Ph.D. thesis was titled “Elucidation of Aegilops tauschii contribution to heat and drought tolerance diversity in bread wheat through genomics and metabolomics”.
My research interest is in breeding climate-resilient crops, especially wheat, using genomic, physiological, and metabolomic tools. I am currently working as a Project Researcher in Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University, Japan, where I conduct translational research for heat and drought resilience in bread wheat grown under field and controlled conditions.
I am experienced in plant breeding, population genetics, plant physiology, and metabolite analysis; familiar with LC-MS/MS, DArTseq genotyping, GWAS, RT-qPCR, LI-COR, genotype-by-environment interactions, and many bioinformatics and statistical software. I have good leadership and communication skills, innovative, and excellent in teamwork.
Laboratory of Molecular Breeding and Cytogenetics: https://sites.google.com/tottori-u.ac.jp/plant-breeding-cytogenetics
- Itam, M. O., Ammar, W., Fujimaki, H. and Tsujimoto, H. (2021). Transpiration response of two bread wheat lines differing in drought resilience and their backcross parent under dry-down conditions. Breeding Science 71: 575–583.
- Itam, M. O., Mega, R., Gorafi, Y. S. A., Yamasaki, Y., Tahir, I. S. A., Akashi, K. and Tsujimoto, H. (2021) Genomic analysis for heat and combined heat–drought resilience in bread wheat under field conditions Theoretical and Applied Genetics https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03969-x.
- Itam, M. O., Gorafi, Y. S., Izzat, T. S. and Tsujimoto, H.(2021).Genetic variation in drought resilience-related traits among wheat multiple synthetic derivative lines: insights for climate resilience breeding. Breeding Science 71: 435–443.
- Otie, V., Udo, I., Shao, Y., Itam, M. O., Okamoto, H., An, P. and Eneji, E. A. (2021). Salinity effects on morpho-physiological and yield traits of soybean (Glycine max L.) as mediated by foliar spray with Brassinolide. Plants 10(3):541.
- Elhadi, G. M. I., Kamal, N. M., Gorafi, Y. S. A., Yamasaki, Y., Takata, K., Tahir, I. S. A., Itam, M. O., Tanaka, H. and Tsujimoto, H. (2021). Exploitation of tolerance of wheat kernel weight and shape-related traits from Aegilops tauschii under heat and combined heat-drought stresses. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22(4), 1830.
- Itam, M. O, Abdelrahman, M., Yamasaki, Y., Mega, R., Gorafi, Y., Akashi, K., Tsujimoto, H. (2020). Aegilops tauschii introgressions improve physio-biochemical traits and metabolite plasticity in bread wheat under drought stress. Agronomy 10, 1588.
- Itam, M. O., Mega, R., Tadano, S., Abdelrahman, M., Matsunaga, S., Yamasaki, Y., Akashi, K. and Tsujimoto, H. (2020). Metabolic and physiological responses to progressive drought stress in bread wheat. Scientific Reports 10, 17189.
- Itam, M. O., Nnamani, C. V. and Oku, E. E. (2019).African Vetiver Grass Cleans Abattoir Effluent. Agriculture and Natural Resources53 (3), 260–266.