[VOICE] Mrs. Ibiang Sarah | Chiba University

Mrs. Ibiang Sarah



PhD Student

Laboratory of Plant Nutrition

Chiba University

Study & Research

I am in the field of Environmental Horticulture and majoring in Plant-microbes interaction. My research entails the use of beneficial fungi to promote vegetables growth and tolerance to disease. Occasioned by the finite nature of the resource base (e.g., phosphate ore) used for their production, high cost and scarcity of chemical fertilizer inputs is a challenge to food production and sustainable development. As a result, fertilizer availability and affordability are important issues confronting farmers in many countries with low food self-sufficiency index. Another important issue is disease control, often achieved by pesticides application. To mitigate the environmental and human health concerns, non-chemical means of growth promotion and disease control need to be explored. My research involves the use of plant growth-promoting fungi (PGPF) like Penicillium sp. and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), to improve growth and tolerance to verticillium wilt disease in vegetables. The optimization of these strategies to ensure broader, more consistent beneficial effects, is required to enhance their adoption in agricultural production.


The objective of my study is as follows:

•        To investigate the effect of fungal consortium identity, soil, and host type on the growth-promoting effect of AMF and Penicillium pinophilum EU0013.

•        To evaluate the effect of AMF and P. pinophilum on tolerance to Verticillium dahliae in two cultivars of tomato obtained from Japan and Nigeria, and elucidate the physiological, molecular, and rhizosphere-based mechanisms in operation.

•        To characterize the secondary metabolic compounds produced by P. pinophilum and its effects on fruit quality indices in different tomato cultivars.


Reasons to Choose Japan & Desired Future Career Path

My husband won the MEXT scholarship to study in Japan and graduated successfully in 2018. This ignited my interest in studying in Japan, and I eventually obtained admission into the Masters program at Chiba University. Due to my desire to engage in teaching and research in the future, I continued unto the Doctoral degree course in the same University.


Message for Prospective Students

Japan is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. I call it “The country that brings your imagination and thoughts to reality”. The high level of technological and infrastructural advancement keeps your imagination active. It is also an interesting country to live and study in, with beautiful sights and sounds. Understanding the language and culture reduces the challenges of daily life.