Gebisa Ejeta (born 1950) is an Ethiopian-American plant breeder, geneticist and Professor at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum.
During primary school, Ejeta planned to study engineering when he reached college age, but his mother convinced him he could do more working in agriculture. With aid from Oklahoma State University, he attended an agriculture and technical secondary school in Oromia-Ethiopia and also studied at what is now Haramaya University. The university and the U.S. Agency for International Development helped him earn a doctorate from Purdue.
Working in Sudan during the early 1980s, Ejeta developed Africa's first commercial hybrid variety of sorghum tolerant to drought. Later, with a Purdue University colleague in Indiana, he discovered the chemical basis of the relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum, and was able to produce sorghum varieties resistant to both drought and striga.
Saballos, A., G. Ejeta, E. Sanchez, C. Kang, and W. Vermerris. 2009. A genome-wide analysis of the cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase family in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) identifies SbCAD2 as the brown midrib6 gene. Genetics 181:783-795.
Vogler, R., T. Tesso, K. Johnson, and G. Ejeta. 2009. Effect of allelic variation on forage quality of brown midrib sorghum mutants. African J. of Biochem. 3(3):70-76.
Peters, P., M. Jenks, P. Rich, J, Axtell, and G. Ejeta. 2009. Mutagenesis, selection, and allelic analysis of epicuticular wax mutants in sorghum. Crop Sci. 49:1249-1258.
Saballos, A., W. Vermerris, L. Rivera, and G. Ejeta. 2009. Allelic association, chemical characterization and sacharification properties of brown midrib mutants of sorghum (S. bicolor (L.) Moench). Bioenerg. Res. 1:193-204.
Rich, P. J. and G. Ejeta. 2008. Towards effective resistance to Striga in African maize. Plant Signaling & Behavior 3:9, 618-621.
Amusan, I. O., P. J. Rich, A. Menkir, T. Housley, and G. Ejeta. 2008. Resistance to Striga hermonthica in a maize inbred line derived from Zea diploperennis. New Phytologist 178:157-166.
Knoll, J. E. and G. Ejeta. 2008. Marker-assisted selection for early season cold tolerance in sorghum: QTL validation across populations and environments. Theor. Appl. Genet.116:541-553.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department.
- Ethiopian American Wins 2009 World Food Prize Gebisa Ejeta developed drought-tolerant, parasite-resistant sorghum
- Dr. Gebisa Ejeta - Purdue University Department of Agronomy
- Purdue plant breeder, geneticist receives 2009 World Food Prize
- Sorghum researcher wins World Food Prize
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