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Catherine Taracha

Catherine Taracha, Ph.D.

Head, Crop Biotechnology
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Dr. Catherine Taracha’s area of interest is in genetic engineering of plants. She holds a Ph.D from Kenyatta University. The thesis title is “Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of elite Kenyan maize germplasm with a Cry3A gene for the control of the larger grain borer and maize weevil. Her Msc thesis was on “The efficacy of vegetable oils as surface protectants on seeds of the common bean Phaseolus vulgaris L., against the bean bruchid Acanthoscelides obtectus (Say) infestation. Catherine has been involved with various partners, such as the Insect Resistant Management for Africa Project (IRMA). She was involved in the insect bioassays of transgenic maize.

More recently Catherine was awarded a Fellowship, at the Donald Danforth Plant Center, by the African Women for Agricultural Research and Development where she developed constructs using the CRIPR Cas 9 (gene editing) for the control of the Maize lethal Necrosis Disease an emergent disease of maize in Kenya. Catherine has also been involved in tissue culture of sweetpotato, and cassava, she is currently working on optimization of tissue culture protocols of bamboo, anthuriums and coconut. Dr Taracha has published widely in refereed journals, conferences and workshops. Catherine is the Center Director of KALRO Biotechnology Center, a Board Member of OFAB, an. Expert Reviewer for the National Biosafety Authority, as well as the Regulatory lead in the VIRCA,. Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus Project. She is versed in agricultural research, technology testing and regulatory compliance.

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