Wheat and Dolichos Varieties Research at University of Eldoret

Prof. Miriam G. Kinyua has been conducting very successful research projects towards production of novel varieties of cash and food crops in Kenya. Prof. Kinyua who is an alumni of University of Nairobi where she did her BSc., MSc., and PhD. She is a recipient of Presidential award Order of the Grand Warrior for contribution to food security through research. Before joining the University of Eldoret, Prof Kinyua was involved in research at KARI (now KALRO) where she developed and released over 10 varieties.  Following her outstanding research, she has mentored over 20 students supervised for MSc and PhD degrees. 

Wheat Research

The initial research projects, focused in the development of wheat varieties resistant to Stem rust UG99 leading to release of 2 varieties ELDO BARAKA and ELDO MAVUNO. The beneficiaries of these innovations include wheat farmers in Kenya and East Africa region, wheat millers and other agro-processing industries, consumers of wheat products and policy makers. The project was sponsored by International Atomic Energy Agency. The project produced 3 Phd students: Philip Chemwok, Paul Kimurto and Alice Ndiema and 3 MSc. students: Amos Ego, Gerald Githinji, and Philis Njane.

Dolichos Research

The objective of this research was to develop Dolichos lablab varieties with farmer and consumer preferred traits, from the existing landraces and local cultivars using various breeding methods including mutation techniques, conventional breeding and  biotechnology. Selections were made and 4 varieties were released namely Eld KT black 1, Eldo KT black 2, Eldo KT Cream and Eldo KT Maridadi. Certified seed has been grown and sold to farmers in all major growing areas, and in Tanzania. Beneficiaries include dolichos farmers with improved seeds, consumers, agroindustry and policy makers. This project produced 2 PhD graduates: Grace Kamotho and Naftali Ondabu.

The release of four (4) Dolichos varieties in Kenya is a culmination of research work spanning eight years and supported by KT. ELDO-KT Black 1, ELDO-KT black 2, ELDO-KT  cream and ELDO-KT Maridadi were released for commercial production in Kenya in February 2015 (Kenya-Gazette notice no. 313 of 2015  (Feb 2015). Certified seed are available for these varieties for planting. The work to develop improved Dolichos lablab started with a survey in 2005 of Dolichos bean growing areas in Kenya. Selections were made from all collections based on their desirable traits. Other germplasm was sourced from the Gene Bank of Kenya collections. A cross-breeding programme was initiated with 10 selections, in half-diallel pattern. From the segregating populations, advanced through pedigree method, 16 selections were identified at F4. Four selections were made from a mutant population. These were further reduced to 10, and finally, 6 were entered into the National Performance Trial (NPT). 

In September 2014, four entries, B1, M1, W7 and LG1 were recommended for release by the NPT committee. On February 4th 2015, the National Variety Release Committee announced the release of the four with release names ELDO – KT black (1 and 2), ELDO-KT cream and ELDO-KT Maridadi. Some of the outstanding features of these varieties are early to medium maturity, uniform to variable maturity type, determinate to semi-determinate growth habit, black, cream and spotted grain colors with purple, pink and white flower colors; providing a wide choice among the diverse demands by small scale farmers and consumers. The seed is being multiplied by University of Eldoret for the farmers and the results from this project is positively and greatly impacting on food security and income generation among small scale farmers in Kenya. 

Young scientists have been effectively prepared to be future celebrated breeders. Equipping of the lab has provided much needed facilitation for breeding in modern times. A total of 6 MSc and 4 Ph.D students were trained as well as several others supported for in the course of their studies.
The Dolichos research outcome has been disseminated through different channels including publication of 9 articles in International peer reviewed journals, over 10 conference papers and 1 book on Dolichos breeding published in 2012. All these form appreciated outputs from the project. Below are some of the publications from the research.


  • Boit, L.C; M. Kinyua, O. Kiplagat, E. Chepkoech (2018). Evaluating Kenyan Dolichos (Lablab purpureus L.) Genotypes for Resistance to Legume Pod Borers (Maruca vitrata and Helicoverpa armigera) Using Morphological Markers. International Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science Vol. 5(1), pp. 344-351, March, 2018. ISSN: 2167-0449
  • Grace N. Kamotho, Reuben M. Muasya, Miriam G. Kinyua, (2017). Assessment of phenotypic diversity of Kenyan dolichos bean (Lablab purpureus l. Sweet) germplasm based on morphological markers. International Journal of Agriculture, Environment and Bioresearch Vol. 2, No. 06; 2017 ISSN: 2456-8643
  • Kamotho, Grace; G. Kinyua, Miriam; M. Muasya Reuben; Gichuki, Simon; Wanjala, Bramwel; Kimani, Esther and N. Kamau, Eliezah. (2016). Assessment of genetic diversity of Kenyan dolichos bean (lablab purpureus l. sweet) using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers
  • Kamotho G.N., Kinyua M.G and R.M Muasya (2015) .  Evaluation Of Performance Of Dolichos Bean (Lablab Purpureus (L.) Sweet) Under Different Agro-Ecological Environments In Kenya. Research Journal of Agriculture.Vol. 2 No. 9
  • Kimani E. N., F. N. Wachira and M. G. Kinyua (2012). "Molecular Diversity of Kenyan Lablab Bean (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet) Accessions Using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Markers," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2012, pp. 313-321. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.33037
  • Shivachi A, Kinyua M.G, Kiplagat K.O and Kimurto P.K, & Towett B.K. (2012). Cooking time and sensory evaluation of selected Dolichos (Lablab purpureus) genotypes. 2012. African Journal of Food Science and Technology; 3(6) 24-32
  • Kimani E., F. Wachira, M. Kinyua , J .Matasyoh (2011). Biochemical analysis of cassava quality traits in central rift Characterization of volatile compounds of Kenyan lablab Bean (lablab purpureus) accessions and their flavour Attributes.
  • Kamau E.M., M. Kinyua, O. Kiplagat and L. Gohole (2011). Gamma Radio Sensitivity Determination for Lablab (Lablab purpureus) Bean. Plant Mutation Reports Vol.2 No.3
  • Kamau E. M., M. G. Kinyua, L. Gohole, O. Kiplagat (2011). Screening Of Local Lablab Accessions For Resistance To Cow Pea Aphid. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, Vol 77, No 1&2 
  • Kamotho G. N., Kinyua M.G., Muasya R. M., Orwa D. O., Kimani E. N.(2010) Baseline Survey on Production Practices, Constraints and Utilization of Dolichos Bean in Kenya: Implications for Dolichos Bean Improvement. International Journal of Professional Practice

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