Breeding for Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) Disease Resistance in Ethiopia


  • To evaluate MLN resistant conversions of F1 hybrids under artificial inoculation.
  • To evaluate equivalency of MLN resistant converted and unconverted F1 hybrids.
  • To determine combining ability and heterosis of converted and unconverted MLN resistant inbred lines. 
  • To generate doubled haploids conversions MLN resistant elite adapted inbred lines.

Work expectations

To pend up to 6 months in one month intervals working in Kenya with the CIMMYT maize program from 2019 to 2021.  The majority of the time will be spend in Ethiopia.  Student will conduct nurseries and field trials in Ethiopia and will visit Kenya at intervals to work with CIMMYT on MLN artificial inoculation trials, molecular breeding of populations, and DH development.

Required skills

Experience in applied plant breeding with excellent understanding of basic plant breeding principles, solid experience in experimental design and analysis, good understanding of statistics and quantitative genetics, and familiarity with plant pathology.  Reasonable computer skills and willingness to acquire necessary familiarity and working knowledge of appropriate software packages.


  • Trial design and execution of efficacy and equivalency trials of MLN resistant MABC derived elite mid-altitude and highland adapted CIMMYT lines in Ethiopia and Kenya
  • Data collection and analysis of trials
  • Development and evaluation of mid-altitude x highland and highland x highland MLN tolerant hybrids to assess combining ability of MLN tolerant versions of elite CIMMYT materials and identification of promising MLN tolerant hybrids for Ethiopian maize growing regions affected by MLN
  • Marker assisted selection for MLN QTL in elite Ethiopia-adapted breeding populations
  • Development of MLN tolerant DH lines