Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology
P.O. Box 43844 , 00100 Nairobi
Kenyatta University
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Research Interest

Use of modern technologies including genetic engineering to improve crop yield and enhance biomass for biocommodities as well as improving local medicinal plants for increased production of therapeutic secondary metabolites.

Areas of Expertise
• Molecular Biology
• Biochemistry
• Drug discovery
• Forensic sciences
• Organizational Development
• Science Communication


  1. Oduor, R. O, Iyer, R, Mackuka, J. and Thomson, J. A. (2009). Plant promoters of the XVSAP1 gene. World Intellectual Property Organization Patent no. Patent No. WO/2009/060402.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  1. Muinde JM, Bhanu DRC, Neumann R, Oduor RO, Kanja W, Kimani JK, Mutugi MW, Smith L, Jobling MA and Wetton JH (2021). Geographical and linguistic structure in the people of Kenya demonstrated using 21 autosomal STRs. Forensic Science International: Genetics 53 (2021) 102535
  2. Dancun Muchira, Elias Mwangi, Richard Oduor (2022). A Review of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) Current Control Measures and Genome Editing as a Potential Intervention. International Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 7(3): 118-123. Doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20220703.12
  3. Dancun King’ang’I Muchira, Elias Mwangi, Richard Oduor (2022). Optimized Nematodes Isolation Protocol for Soils from Tissue Culture Banana Field. International Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 7(3): 115-117 http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/j/ijmb doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20220703.11
  4. Purity G. Limbua, Mathew P. Ngugi, and Richard O. Oduor (2022). Genetic Transformability of Selected Kenyan Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Genotypes with IPT Gene Using Cotyledonary Node Explants. Advances in Agriculture. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/2516843
  5. Mukami A, Juma BS, Mweu C, Ngugi M, Oduor R, Mbinda WM (2022). Plant regeneration from leaf mesophyll derived protoplasts of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). PLoS ONE 17(12): e0278717. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0278717
  6. Masanga, J., Oduor, R., Alakonya, A., Ngugi, M., Ojola, P., Bellis, E. S., & Runo, S. (2022). Comparative phylogeographic analysis of Cuscuta campestris and Cuscuta reflexa in Kenya: Implications for management of highly invasive vines. Plants, People, Planet, 4(2), 182–193. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10236
  7. Adero M, Tripathi JN, Oduor R, Zipfel C, Tripathi L (2023). Transgenic expression of Arabidopsis ELONGATION FACTOR-TU RECEPTOR (AtEFR) gene in banana enhances resistance against Xanthomonas campestris pv. Musacearum. PLoS ONE 18(9): e0290884. https:// doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0290884
  8. Asande LK, Ombori O, Oduor RO, Nchore SB  and Nyaboga EN (2023). Occurrence of passion fruit woodiness disease in the coastal lowlands of Kenya and screening of passion fruit genotypes for resistance to passion fruit woodiness disease. BMC Plant Biology. 23:544. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-023-04546-8
  9. Mwangi JW, Oduor RO, Muchemi PK, and Ngugi MP (2021). Genetic and phenotypic diversity of selected Kenyan mung bean (Vigna radiate L. Wilckzek) genotypes. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. 19:142. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43141-021-00245-9
  10. Njaci, I.; Ngugi-Dawit, A.; Oduor, R.O.; Kago, L.; Williams, B.; Hoang, L.T.M.; Mundree, S.G.; Ghimire, S.R. (2021) Comparative Analysis Delineates the Transcriptional Resistance Mechanisms for Pod Borer Resistance in the Pigeonpea Wild Relative Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, 309. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22010309
  11. Mark Ochieng Adero, Easter David Syombua, Richard Oduor (2021a). Genetic Engineering of Banana Against Bacterial Diseases. Journal of Plant Sciences. Vol. 9, No. 5, 2021, pp. 253-256. Doi: 10.11648/j.jps.20210905.13
  12. Mukami A, Juma BS, Mweu C, Ngugi M, Oduor R, Mbinda WM (2023). CRISPR-Cas9-induced targeted mutagenesis of feruloyl CoA 6′-hydroxylase gene reduces postharvest physiological deterioration in cassava roots. Postharvest Biology and Technology. 208 (2024) 112649
  13. Francis Wekesa, Mark Wamalwa, Richard Oduor, Yatinder Binepa, Leonard Ateya, Noah Okumu, Angela M’kwenda, Christopher Masaba, and Eugine Mukhaye (2023). Development and Validation of Rapid Colorimetric Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of Rift Valley Fever Virus. Advances in Virology Volume 2023, Article ID 1863980, 14 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2023/1863980
  14. Mark Ochieng Adero, Easter David Syombua, Richard Oduor (2021b). A Robust Protocol for Managing Microbial Contamination of In-vitro Banana Plants. International Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 6(3), pp. 95-97. Doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20210603.15
  15. Joel Masanga, Beatrice Njoki Mwangi, Willy Kibet, Philip Sagero, Mark Wamalwa, Richard Oduor, Mathew Ngugi, Amos Alakonya, Patroba Ojola, Emily S Bellis, Steven Runo (2021), Physiological and ecological warnings that dodders pose an exigent threat to farmlands in Eastern Africa, Plant Physiology, kiab034, https://doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiab034

  16. Mukami A, Ng’etich A, Syombua E, Oduor R, Mbinda W (2020). Varietal differences in physiological and biochemical responses to salinity stress in six finger millet plants. Physiol Mol Biol Plants https://doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00853-8

  17. Asande LK, Ombori RO, Nyaboga EN, Oduor RO. (2020). Efficient Shoot Organogenesis Using Leaf Disc and Nodal Explants of Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis
    Sims) and Genetic Fidelity Assessment Using Sequence-Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP) Markers. International Journal of Agronomy.
  18. Mbinda W, Dixelius C and Oduor R (2019). Induced Expression of Xerophyta viscosa XvSap1 Gene Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Sweet Potato. Front. Plant Sci. 10:1119. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01119
  19. Asunta Mukami, Alex Ngetich, Cecilia Mweu, Richard O. Oduor, Mutemi Muthangya, Wilton Mwema Mbinda (2019). Differential characterization of physiological and biochemical responses during drought stress in finger millet varieties. Physiol Mol Biol Plants. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12298-019-00679-z
  20. Asunta Mukami, Alex Ngetich, Cecilia Mweu, Mutemi Muthangya, Richard O. Oduor, Mathew Ngugi, and Wilton Mbinda (2019). Rapid and efficient plant regeneration from shoot apical meristems of finger millet [Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.] via direct organogenesis. 17(29), pp. 898-905, : 10.5897/AJB2018.16562
  21. Easter D. SYOMBUA, Christine N. WANYONYI, Wilton M. Mbinda, Mathew P. NGUGI1, Amos E. ALAKONYA and Richard O. ODUOR (2019). Explant type and hormone regime influences somatic embryogenesis and regeneration of cassava. African Journal of Biotechnology 18(25), pp. 532-539. DOI: 10.5897/AJB2019.16853 Article
  22. D M Mukwabi, S O Otieno, P O Okemo, R O Odour and B Agwanda (2019). Parasites infesting Nile tilapia grown in aquaculture systems in Kenya Livestock Research for Rural Development 31 (2)
  23. DM Mukwabi, PO Okemo, SO Otieno, RO Oduor and CM Macharia (2019). Temperature and PH influence on bacterial pathogens infecting farmed Nile tilapia in aquaculture systems in Bungoma County, Kenya. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies 7(1): 190-197
  24. Richard O. Oduor (2019). Exposure to Background Ionizing radiation from quarries and premises in Kisumu County, Kenya. International Journal of Scientific Research.
  25. Richard O. Oduor (2018). Indoor background ionizing radiations in selected premises in Mombasa County, Kenya. International Advanced Research Journal in Science, Engineering and Technology. 5(11):36-38. DOI 10.17148/IARJSET.2018.5118
  26. Sylvia Nawiri, Richard Oduor and Wilton Mbinda (2018). Isopentenyletransferase Gene Enhances Drought Tolerance in Genetically Engineered Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam). J Plant Biochem Physiol, 6:3 DOI: 10.4172/2329-9029.1000221
  27. Wilton Mbinda, Omwoyo Ombori, and Christina Dixelius, Richard Oduor (2018). Xerophyta viscosa Aldose Reductase, XvAld1, Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Sweetpotato. Molecular Biotechnology https://doi.org/10.1007/s12033-018-0063-x
  28. Nzaro G Makenzi1, Wilton M Mbinda, Richard Oduor Okoth and Mathews Piero Ngugi (2017). Plant Regeneration of Sweetpotato Through Direct Shoot Organogenesis J Plant Biochem Physiol. DOI: 10.4172/2329-9029.1000207
  29. Ouko R.O, Koech S.C, Arika W.M, Oduor R.O, Ngugi M.T. (2017) Bioefficacy of organic extracts of Ocimum basilicum against Sitophilus zeamais. Entomology, Ornithology & Herpetology Vol. 6:190 doi 10.4172/2162-0983.1000190
  30. EN Marigi, JO Masanga, TL Munga, LS Karanja, MP Ngugi, WM Thagana, D Kirubi, M Mwangi, CM Githunguri, WM Muiru, DW Miano, AE Alakonya and RO Oduor (2016). Optimisation of a Somatic Embryogenesis and Transformation Protocol for Farmer-Preferred Cassava Cultivars in Kenya. African CropScience Journal, 24 (s1): 35–44. ISSN 1021-9730/2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/acsj.v24i1.4S
  31. Stephen O. Onyango, Hugh Roderick, Jaindra N. Tripathi, Richard Collins, Howard J. Atkinson, Richard O. Oduor, LeenaTripathi (2016). The ZmRCP-1 promoter of maize provides root tip specificexpression of transgenes in plantain. Journal of Biological Research.23:4 1-9. DOI 10.1186/s40709-016-0041-z
  32. Miccah Songelael Seth, Leta Tulu Bedada, Mathew Piero Ngugi, Steven Maina Runo, Revel Iyer, Jennifer Ann Thomson, Emmarold E. Mneney, Dan Makumbi, Richard Okoth Oduor (2016). Drought tolerance in transgenic tropical maize (Zea mays L) by heterologous expression of peroxiredoxin2 gene-XvPrx2. African Journal of Biotechnology. 15(25). 1350-1362.
  33. Ogola PE, Arika WM, Nyamai DW, Osano KO, achuonyo HO, Wambani JR, Lagat RC, Njagi SM, Mumenya SW, Koteng A, Ngugi MP, Oduor RO (2016). Determination of background ionizing radiations in selected buildings in Nairobi County, Kenya. Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy 7:29.doi:10.4172/2155-9619.1000289
  34. Leta Tulu Bedada, Miccah Songelael Seth, Steven Maina Runo, Wondyifraw Teffera, Charless Mugoya, Clet Wandui Masiga, Richard Okoth Oduor, Eduardo Blumewald and Francis Wachira (2016). Drought tolerant tropical maize (Zea mays L.) developed through genetic t/ransformation with isopentenyltransferase gene. African Journalof Biotechnology. 15(43), pp. 2447-2464, 26. DOI: 10.5897/AJB2016.15228
  35. Mbinda W, Anami S, Ombori O, Dixelius C, Oduor R (2016). Efficient Plant Regeneration of Selected Kenyan Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) Cultivars through Somatic Embryogenesis. J Tissue Sci Eng 7: 176. doi:10.4172/2157-7552.1000176
  36. Tripathi JN, Oduor RO and Tripathi L (2015) A High-Throughput Regeneration and Transformation Platform for Production of Genetically Modified Banana. Front. Plant Sci. 6:1025. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.01025
  37. Piero NM, Murugi NJ, Okoth OR, Ombori OR, Jalemba MA, Chelule CR (2015) RNAi-Mediated Downregulation of Cyano-Glycoside Biosynthesis in Kenyan Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Genotypes. J Plant Biochem Physiol 3: 148. doi:10.4172/2329-9029.1000148
  38. Piero NM, Joan MN, Richard OO, Jalemba MA, Omwoyo OR, and Cheruiyot R Chelule. (2015) Determination of Cyanogenic Compounds Content in Transgenic Acyanogenic Kenyan Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Genotypes: Linking Molecular Analysis to Biochemical Analysis. J Anal Bioanal Tech 6: 264 doi:10.4172/2155-9872.1000264
  39. Ngugi MP, Oduor RO, Omwoyo RO, Njagi JM, Mgutu AJ, Cheruiyot (2015) Regeneration of Kenyan Cassava (Manihot Esculenta Crantz) Genotypes. J Plant Biochem Physiol 3: 147. doi:10.4172/2329-9029.1000147
  40. K. Mburua, R. Oduor, A. Mgutu and L. Tripathi (2015). Silicon application enhances resistance to xanthomonas wilt disease in banana. Plant Pathology.Doi:10.1111/ppa.12468
  41.  Wilton Mbinda, Sylvia Nawiri, Makenzi Nzaro, Benson Kinyagia, Allan Mgutu, and Richard Oduor (2015). Evaluation of the Phosphomannose Isomerase-Based Selection System for Genetic Transformation of Sweetpotato. International Journal of LifeScience 9(3): 46-53
  42. Marigi E , Ngugi MP, Thagana W, Muiru W, Munga TL, Alakonya A and Oduor RO (2014). Establishing a platform for routine genetic transformation of cassava for enhanced tolerance to cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak diseases. CRCoE Review (3) 23-26
  43. Ngugi M Piero, Njagi J Murugi, Oduor R Okoth, Mgutu A Jalemba, Ngeranwa NJ Joseph and Njagi EN Mwaniki, (2012). Prevention of Type I Diabetes Mellitus: The Role of Immune Interventions. Clinical and Cellular Immunology. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.S2-005
  44. Seth M S, Bedada, L T, Mneney, E. E, Oduor R O and Machuka J S (2012).In vitro regeneration of selected commercial Tanzanian open pollinated maize genotypes. African Journal of Biotechnology 11(22): 6043-6049
  45. Seth M S, Bedada, L T, Mneney, E. E, Oduor R O and Machuka J S (2012). In vitro regeneration of selected commercial Tanzanian open pollinated maize genotypes. African Journal of Biotechnology 11(22): 6043-6049
  46. Oduor, R. O.; K. Ojo, K. K.; Williams G. P.; Bertelli, F.; Mills, J.; Maes , L.; Pryde, D. C.; Parkinson , T.; Van Voorhis, W. C. and Holler, T. P. (2011). Trypanosoma brucei Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 Target for Anti-trypanosomal Drug Development: A Public-Private Partnership to Identify Novel Leads. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(4): e1017. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001017
  47. Oduor, R. O, Njagi, E. N. M, Ndung’u, S and Machuka, J. S. (2006). In vitro Regeneration of Dryland Kenyan Maize Genotypes Through Somatic Embryogenesis International Journal of Botany 2 (2): pp 46-151.
  48. Ngugi M Piero, Njagi J Murugi, Oduor R Okoth, Musembi Susan, Njagi EN Mwaniki, (2019). Towards biochemical and molecular understanding of obesity. Journal of Obesity and Lifestyle Management. In press
  49. Emma N. Marigi, Joel O. Masanga, Theresia L. Munga,Laura S. Karanja, Mathew P. Ngugi, Wilson M. Thagana Duncan Kirubi , Maina Mwangi, Cyrus M. Githunguri William M. Muiru, Douglas W. Miano, Amos E. Alakonya and Richard O. Oduor (2019). Effect of explant type, plant growth regulators and photoperiod regimes on regeneration of selected Kenyan cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) cultivars.In Press
  50. Ogola PE, Mumenya SW, Koteng’ A, Ngugi MP, Oduor RO (2019). Determination of ionizing radiations in selected quarries in Nairobi County, Kenya. OMICs. In press

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Oduor RO, Mbinda W, Runo SM, Murilla G, Mugendi J, Muriira G4, Ogoyi D, Ochieng J and, Mathabe PMK, Ngugi MP (2018). ‘Genetically Modified Organisms: the Kenya’s Story’ Presented at Africa Animal Welfare Conference between September 3-5 2018, United Nations Complex, Kenya
  • Ogola PE, Njagi JM, Ngugi MP, Mumenya SW, Koteng’A, Wala E, Geoffrey Muriira, Mugendi J, Bosire, SW and Oduor RO (2018). ‘Determination of exposure to indoor ionizing radiation in human habitat: a preventive approach to cancer management’ presented at the 50th KMA ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE, between 17th -21st April 2018 at Nyali Sun Africa Beach Hotel & Spa, Mombasa Kenya
  • Joel W Ochieng, Jane J. Binott, Richard S. Mulwa, Mathews M. Dida, Pixley K. Kipsumbai, Trizah K. Milugo and Richard O. Oduor (2017) “Can Genetic Engineering promote food security and reduce the health burden? Focus on food safety and nutrition” presented at 45th KMA Annual Scientific Conference, held between 19th to 23rd April 2017
  • Oduor RO, Ngugi MP, Alakonya AE and Maina SR (2016). ‘Politics of GM crops: The Kenyan Story and its Role in Sustainable Agriculture’, a paper presented at the 2nd SAED Biennial International Conference held on November 29th to December 2nd 2016 pg37
  • Oduor RO, Ngugi MP, Tuei VC, Milugo TK, and Ochieng JW (2016) “How prepared is Sub Saharan Africa to adopt Biotech crops? Lessons from Kenya”presented at the Bridging the Gap between Agriculture and Human Health workshop, held between19th to 22nd September 2016
  • Easter D. SYOMBUA, Mathew P. NGUGI, Theresia L. MUNGA,Laura S. KARANJA, Wilson M. THAGANA Duncan KIRUBI , Maina MWANGI, Cyrus M. GITHUNGURI William M. MUIRU, Douglas W. MIANO, Amos E. ALAKONYA and Richard O. ODUOR (2016) ‘Somatic embroyogenesis and transformation of selected Kenyan cassava cultivators’ presented at the 20th International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR) on 26th to 29th June 2016.
  • Oduor RO, Mgutu AJ, Ngugi MP, Alakonya AE and Maina SR (2015) ‘Africa is ready for genetically modified crops: Lessons from Kenya’ presented at the 2nd Africa International Biotechnology and Biomedical Conference held on 17th to 18thSeptember 2015.
  • Emma N. MArigi, Mathew P. NGUGI, Theresia L. MUNGA,Laura S. KARANJA, Wilson M. THAGANA Duncan KIRUBI , Maina MWANGI, Cyrus M. GITHUNGURI William M. MUIRU, Douglas W. MIANO, Amos E. ALAKONYA and Richard O. ODUOR (2015) ‘Evaluating regenerability and transformability of a farmer-preferred Kenyan Cassava Cultivars’ presented at the 4th Annual Biosafety Conference held on 11th to 14th August 2015.
  • Marigi E , Ngugi MP, Thagana W, Muiru W, Munga TL, Alakonya A and Oduor RO (2014) ‘Establishing a platform for routine genetic transformation of cassava for enhanced tolerance to cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease’ presented at the 3rd CRCoE Review and Cassava Scientific Conference held on 28th to 30th July 2014 pg 23-26
  • Oduor RO, Ochieng’ JW, Ngugi MP and Miano DW (2014). ‘’Kenya is Ready for the Adoption of Genetically Modified Foods Despite the Existing Ban on their Importation’’ presented at the UCT –USHEPiA Alumni seminar, held on18th to 19th September 2014.
  • Wilson M. Thagana, Richard O. Oduor, and Willium M Muiru (2012)‘Enhancing cassava productivity through host plant resistance breeding against cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease using genetic engineering and marker assisted selection – A Kenyan project’ presented at the 12th International Symposium on Plant Virus Epidemiology held on 28th January to 1st February 2012. Pg 157.
  • Oduor, R. O., K. Ojo, K. K., Williams G. P., Bertelli, F., Mills, J., Maes, L., Pryde, D. C., Parkinson , T., Van Voorhis, W. C. and Holler, T. P. (2011). ‘High-throughput screening to identify novel anti-trypanosomal leads targeting glycogen synthase kinase 3 of Trypanosoma brucei’ presented at the 4th ANDI Stakeholders meeting and Donors Conference on 24th to 27th October 2011 pg 109.

Chapters in Book (s)

  • Richard Oduor, Mathew Ngugi, Vivian Tuei, Trizah Milugo and Joel Ochieng (2015). Chapter Title How Ready is Sub-Saharan Africa to Adopt Biotech Crops? Lessons from Kenya (Chapter Six). In: Emma Arogundade (2015): USHEPiA Crossing Boundaries: Knowledges from the Continent. Siber Ink, South Africa, ISBN: 9781928309079.
  • Clet Wandui Masiga, Charles Mugoya, Rasha Ali, Abdalla Mohamed, Sarah Osama, Abigail Ngugi, DanKiambi, Santie de Villiers, Kahiu Ngugi, Theogene Niyibigira, Abraha Tesfamichel, Jesse Machuka, Richard Oduor, Steven Runo, Rasha Adam, et al (2014). Enhanced Utilization of Biotechnology Researchand Development Innovations in Eastern and Central Africa for Agro-ecological Intensification. Editors: Bernard Vanlauwe, Piet van Asten, Guy Blomme. In Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Intensification of the Humid Highland Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa. Springer International PublishingSwitzerland .SBN 978-3-319-07661-4 ISBN 978-3-319-07662-1 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-07662-1.pp 97-104 http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-07662-1_8#page-1