The Plant Disease Research Centre (PDRC) is a new center under the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC). The centre which was commissioned in December 2023 is the first centre in the country dedicated solely to plant disease research.  A vast number of plant pathogens cause diseases in crops and their effects range from mild symptoms to catastrophes in which large areas planted to food crops are destroyed. In order to prevent the spread of diseases and minimize their cumulative effect on yield losses, Ghana’s biosecurity should aim at prevention (at the point of entry), preparedness (early detection, diagnostics and control), response (to contain and eradicate or manage plant pests and diseases) and recovery (systems for regulating eradication, management or restoration). Therefore, the PDRC seeks to strengthen its collaboration with regulatory agencies to minimize the impact of plant diseases.


To be a center of excellence in plant disease research and diagnostics to contribute to the advancement of sustainable agriculture for food security and prosperity.


To develop human and technical resources focusing on biotechnological tools for effective detection and management of plant pathogens, breeding for disease resistance and to provide leadership in plant pathology research through the development of new concepts and technologies.

In pursuit and these, BNARI will build strategic alliances and partnership with national, regional and international bodies to assist Ghana fulfil her obligations on the safe applications of biotechnology and nuclear science.


The Plant Disease Research Centre (PDRC) in mandated to carry out research using conventional and molecular techniques to understand the biology of pathogens that infect economically important crops, including their etiology, detection and control. 

Research Activities

  1. The main research focus areas of the center are:

    1. Genome editing to rapidly develop climate-resilient and climate-adaptable crop varieties using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Crops of interest include but not limited to rice, yam and tomato.
    2. Plant disease diagnostics using conventional and molecular techniques
    3. Plant disease surveillance for early detection to prevent the spread of diseases.
    4. Pathogen identification and genetic characterization to enhance plant breeding for

                disease resistance.

    1. Mutation and molecular breeding for disease resistance
    2. Plant-Microbe Interactions/Plant-Vector-Microbe Interactions
    3. Bioinformatics

Commercialization Activities

  1. The centre renders plant disease diagnostic services for viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens.


Training in basic molecular biology techniques, plant disease diagnostics, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technique.

  1. BTC played a pivotal role in the introduction of the MD2 pineapple into Ghana through mass propagation of planting materials for pineapple growers.
  2. Successful development of efficient in vitro protocols for the micropropagation of staple food crops (plantain, taro, sweet potato), tree (shea) and medicinal plants (Aframomum).
  3. The BTC has trained over 1000 undergraduate and post graduate students and IAEA fellows from other African countries and the Caribbean.


  1. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria

    Public and Private Universities (University of Ghana, Legon, University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and University of Science and Technology) Research Institutions (Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, CSIR-Crops Research Institute)

    Farmer Associations


The Centre Manager,



P. O. Box AE 50, Atomic-Accra, Ghana Or

P. O. Box LG 80, Legon-Accra, Ghana