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Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante is a Rice Breeder at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute. He is the focal person for African Rice Breeders’ task force activities and the Principal investigator for NEWEST (transgenic rice transformed for nitrogen use efficiency, drought and salt tolerance) rice project in Ghana. He has been involved in the development and release of a number of rice varieties.
His current passion is to develop high yielding rice varieties that have excellent cooking and sensory qualities. He believes that this will help domestic rice capture a large portion of the Ghanaian market, which is presently being controlled by imports. He applies modern marker technologies such as genotyping-by-sequencing to facilitate his breeding efforts.
He obtained a BSc (Agriculture) honours degree and a diploma in education from the University of Cape Coast in 1998, and his MSc in Plant breeding from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2004 and PhD in Plant Breeding at the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, University of Ghana in 2012. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Genetic analyses of grain quality traits in rice”.
Dr. Asante is a member of the Ghana Science Association and Research Staff Association of Ghana.
Maxwell is a well-travelled scientist who has attended conferences, workshops, and training programmes in many countries around the world. He has done research at advanced institutions such Cornell University and USDA-Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Centre in the USA and Kyoto University, Japan. He has a number of publications in international and local journals to his credit.
List of Most Current Publications:
Oppong A, Bedoya CA, Ewool MB, Asante MD, Thompson R, Adu-Dapaah H, Lamptey JNL, Ofori K, Offei SK, Warburton ML (2013). Bulk genetic characterization of Ghanaian maize landraces using microsatellite markers . Maydica. (accepted, in press)
Asante MD, Asante BO, Acheampong GK, Offei SK, Gracen V, Adu-Dapaah H, Danquah EY (2013). Farmer and consumer preferences for rice in the Ashanti region of Ghana: Implications for rice breeding in West Africa. Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science 5 (12): 229-238.
Asante MD, Asante BO, Acheampong GK, Wiredu AN, Offei SK, Gracen V, Adu-Dapaah H, Danquah EY (2013). Grain quality and determinants of farmers’ preference for rice varietal traits in three districts in Ghana: Implications for research and policy. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics 5 (7): 284-294
Asante MD, Offei SK, Gracen V, Adu-Dapaah H, Danquah EY, Bryant R, McClung A (2013). Starch physicochemical properties of rice accessions and their association with molecular markers. Starch 65: 1022–1028
Asante MD, Kovach M, Huang L, Harrington S, Dartey PK, Akromah R, Semon M, McCouch S (2010). The genetic origin of fragrance in NERICA1. Molecular Breeding 26: 419-424