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Naa Korkoi Ardayfio Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Naa Korkoi Ardayfio successfully defended her Plant Sciences Ph.D. dissertation, Allelic Relationship of A. Strigosa Crown Rust Resistance Factors and Their Relationship to Pc38 Suppression, November 13, 2018 at North Dakota State University.
Naa Korkoi Ardayfio Defends Ph.D. Dissertation

Naa Korkoi Ardayfio (left) and advisor Dr. Michael McMullen

July 22, 2018

Naa Korkoi Ardayfio successfully defended her Plant Sciences Ph.D. dissertation, Allelic Relationship of A. Strigosa Crown Rust Resistance Factors and Their Relationship to Pc38 Suppression, November 13, 2018 at North Dakota State University.

Ardayfio researched the suppression effect of crown rust resistance gene Pc38 on Pc94 in oat. “Because plant breeders stack resistance genes to prolong the effectiveness of the genes to evolving crown rust races, it is important that pyramiding of genes work together to confer resistance to crown rust,” she explains. “Through my research, I confirmed that Pc38 inhibits the effectiveness of Pc94. Therefore, the two genes should not be introgressed into a single plant as this will defeat the purpose of prolonging the effectiveness of Pc94 resistance.”

Ardayfio, who is from Accra, Ghana, received her undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and her Master’s degree in Horticulture at NDSU advised by Harlene Hatterman-Valenti. She chose to pursue her graduate degrees at NDSU because, as a land-grant institution, NDSU offers opportunities for practical application in one’s field of study through research, in addition to academic instruction.

“The department has a wide variety of programs to suit different aspects of plant sciences and the faculty are determined and willing to help students succeed,” says Ardayfio.

Ardayfio received scholarships and honors during her studies at NDSU, which helped support her in her program of study.

  • Charles and Linda Moses Presidential Graduate Fellow Scholarship (2015, 2017, 2018)
  • Prem Jauhar Crop Science Research Scholarship Award (2016)
  • Inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture (2016)

She also participated in campus and off-campus organizations.

  • Student Representative, Memorial Union Advisory Board (2011-2014)
  • Chi Alpha (2009-2018)
  • Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association (2009-2019)

Ardayfio’s career goal is to work as a research scientist and find solutions to meet human needs.

Ardayfio was advised by Dr. Michael McMullen, professor and leader of the oat breeding program in the Department of Plant Sciences. Her graduate committee also included Dr. Elias M. Elias, Dr. Edward L. Deckard, and Dr. Berlin Nelson.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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