PhD student


Microbiology and Plant Pathology
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Primary Supervisor
Bernard Slippers

Co Supervisor
Mike Wingfield
Jolanda Roux

Currently I am a PhD student of the University of Pretoria at FABI under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Slippers, Prof. Jolanda Roux and Prof. Mike Wingfield. My current research interest is in the identification and diversity of fungal pathogens in the family Botryosphaeriaceae responsible for die back and stems cankers on Eucalyptus plantations and native Myrtales in Kenya.

Background and Research Experience


I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Forestry in 1990 from Moi University (Kenya). In 1991 I joined the Biotechnology programme of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) as an assistant research scientist. I did my MSc in Botany at Maseno University (Kenya) in 2005 where I got an EU fellowship to undertake the MSc Research at the Scottish Agricultural College (UK).

When I joined KEFRI, I was first involved in an EU project for six years to select superior strains of Rhizobia and develop a Biofertilizer in collaboration with the University Of Dundee (UK) which we now market as KEFRIFIX®. Thereafter, we got another funding to develop an Arbuscular Mycorrhizal based inoculum under another six year EU project in collaboration with Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (UK) and CIRAD (France). I have also been involved in developing protocols for tissue culture of various tree species, development of microsatellite and SNP markers, and analysis of genetic diversity of Kenyan indigenous tree species in collaboration with Forest Tree Breeding Centre of Japan, illegal timber tracking using DNA markers in collaboration with ThÜnen Institute (German) and ITTO (Japan).

Currently I am senior research scientist at KEFRI and prior to joining FABI, I was the head of Biotechnology Program

Scientific Publications

My Books

Hanaoka So (ed.) So Hanaoka, Stephen Omondi, Joseph Machua 2013: July Basic molecular techniques for tree breeding -experimental protocols-, Sankeisha. 31st July 2013 ISBN: 978-4-86487-110-5

My research papers

1)            Omondi, S. F., Machua, J., Gicheru, J., & Hanaoka, S. (2015). Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for Acacia tortilis (Forsk.) Hayne. Conservation Genetics Resources, 1–5. doi:10.1007/s12686-014-0413-3

2)            Joanne R. Russell, Peter E. Hedley, Linda Cardle, Siobhan Dancey, Jenny Morris, Allan Booth, David Odee, Lucy Mwaura, William Omondi, Peter Angaine4, Joseph Machua, Alice Muchugi, Iain Milne, Roeland Kindt, Ramni Jamnadass, I. K. D. (2014). TropiTree: An NGS-based EST-SSR resource for 24 tropical tree species. PLoS ONE, 9(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102502

3)            Muturi, G. M., Machua, J. M., Mohren, G. M. J., Poorter, L., Gicheru, J. M., & Maina, L. W. (2012). Genetic diversity of Kenyan Prosopis juliflora populations based on random amplified polymorphic DNA markers, 11(87), 15291–15302. doi:10.5897/AJB12.1036

4)            Kuria, M. W., Ngumi, V. W., Machua, J. M., Odee, D. W. and Njenga, P. K. (2012). Regeneration of the East African greenheart, Warburgia ugandensis (Sprague) through tissue culture. African Journal of Biotechnology, 11(26), 6832–6838. doi:10.5897/AJB11.739

5)            Machua, J., Muturi, G., Omondi, S. F., & Gicheru, J. (2011). Genetic diversity of Jatropha curcas L. populations in Kenya using RAPD molecular markers: Implication to plantation establishment. African Journal of Biotechnology, 10(xx), 3062–3069. doi:10.5897/AJB10.1990

6)            Johnstone Neondo, Joseph Machua, Anne Muigai, Aggrey B. Nyende, Moses Munjuga, R. J. and A. M. (2011). Micropropagation of Allanblackia stuhlmannii: Amenability to tissue culture technique. International Journal for Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Research, 2(November), 185–194. doi:10.5897/IJBMBR11.045

7)            Muchane, M. N., Jama, B., Othieno, C., Okalebo, R., Odee, D., Machua, J., & Jansa, J. (2010). Influence of improved fallow systems and phosphorus application on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi symbiosis in maize grown in western Kenya. Agroforestry Systems, 78, 139–150. doi:10.1007/s10457-009-9249-3

8)            J. Machua, G. M. and J. G. (2007). Genetic diversity within Brachylaena huillensis (O. Hoffim.) populations in Kenya: Implications for conservation of a wood carving tree. Discovery and Inovation, 19(RPSUD Special Edition No 1.).


9)            Desaeger, J., Odee, D., Machua, J., & Esitubi, M. (2005). Interactions between Meloidogyne javanica (Treub) chitwood and rhizobia on growth of Sesbania sesban (L.) Merr. Applied Soil Ecology, 29, 252–258. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2004.12.005

Export to RIS
Machua J, Jimu L, Njuguna J, Wingfield MJ, Mwenje E, Roux J. (2016) First report of Teratosphaeria gauchensis causing stem canker of Eucalyptus in Kenya. Forest Pathology 46(2):168-170. 10.1111/efp.12264 PDF