Dr Godfrey Elijah Zharare
Department of Agriculture

Dr Godfrey Elijah Zharare is a plant scientist trained at the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Plant Mineral Nutrition from the University of Queensland in Australia, MSc in Crop Physiology from the University of Reading in the UK, and a BSc Honours in Crop Science from the University of Zimbabwe. His main research area has been physiology and agronomy of field crops.

He was rated C3 by the NRF in December 2013 for his contribution to the mineral nutrition of groundnut (peanut). In this regard, he produced a collection of innovative work that examines in detail mineral nutri-tion of groundnut with respect to both its vegetative and reproductive growth using solution culture tech-niques. This is the first study into the mineral nutrient relations of the developing ‘subterranean’ groundnut pod using solution culture techniques, which allow a close control of pod’s chemical environment.

Using solution culture techniques, he and a PhD student studied (i) the morphological development of groundnut pods, (ii) the pod-zone zinc nutrition of groundnut, (iii) the effects of pod-zone calcium on pod development of Virginia, Spanish and Valencia type groundnut in solu-tion culture, (iv) the pod fluxes of magnesium, potassi-um, and calcium, and (v) the interactions of calcium with magnesium and pH in the pod-zone on pod and seed de-velopment of groundnut. These studies have advanced the world’s knowledge on mineral nutrition of groundnut, particularly calcium.

As a continuation of this work, he have started research aimed at elucidating the physiological processes involved in the etiology of pops disease (production of fully grown pods with no seed inside) of groundnut. He is also researching on insect-host plant relations of groundnut leaf miner, a pest of groundnut and soy-bean that has recently emerged and threatening the viability of groundnut production on the African continent.

On the side-line he has a small research project on mushrooms (oyster and shiitake) and another project on eco-physiology of the semi-domesticated indigenous vegetables.