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 September 14 2016

 

Seminar on Advanced Breeding Methods for Stress-tolerant Food Crops

Background:

Global climate change is predicted to impose a severe threat to agricultural productivity worldwide, and thereby challenge food security and nutritional security. Heat, drought, salinity, flooding, and changed status of diseases and pests impacted by climate change affect about 30% of the 700 million poor in tropical and sub-tropical Asia alone who live in rainfed rice-growing areas. Although, the impact of climate change on crop's resistance and/or tolerance is difficult to predict and is likely to be variable depending on the crop and its agro-environment, the situation has compelled plant scientists to develop climate change-resilient crops, which can withstand broad-spectrum abiotic and biotic stresses and is the most economic and durable way to adapt to climate change, thus helping to deliver increased crop productivity.

Recently, marker-assisted selection methods have unlocked a new realm in the breeding of genes conferring the desired trait into crop varieties, often with traits introduced from wild relatives or traditional varieties to enhance genetic resilience to stress and adaptability in food crop plants. And with advent of cost-effective high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping platforms (i.e., genotype-by-sequencing), it has been possible to generate data-sets and models for deciphering the stress responsiveness of crop species with adaptation traits or in wild relatives toward identifying underlying genes, alleles or quantitative trait loci for an efficient utilization in crop improvement. Consequently, taking some findings from genetic engineering (GE) research, these advanced breeding methods are more efficient to tackle complex traits, have fewer safety concerns compared to GE crops, and are more acceptable to the consumers.

In view of the aforementioned, the said seminar is for exchanging research information on the progress and prospects of advanced breeding methods for improving climate change resilience in food crops, which is likely to play an ever increasing role in the effort to reduce the impact of climate change on future cropping scenarios and ensure regional food security.

Objectives:

  • bring together key researchers on crop breeding for stress tolerance
  • share the current state of knowledge of advanced crop breeding methods
  • establish an informal network committed to information sharing and collaborative research

Date: November 24-25, 2016

Venue: Headquarters of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Speakers: 15-20 theme speakers and country reports from Japan, Southeast Asia, and beyond

Tentative Themes:

  • Marker-assisted breeding
  • Genomics-assisted plant breeding
  • Genetic mapping in crop species
  • Genome-wide-association mapping in crop species
  • Genotype-by-sequencing application for crop improvement
  • Application of genomic selection for varietal improvement
  • Gene expression analysis in crop plants
  • Informatics tools and approaches for plant breeding

Fee:  No registration fee for attending as observers

Desirable Outputs/Outcomes:

  • Seminar proceedings for circulation to a wider audience of interested researchers
  • Collaboration initiatives
  • Subsequent training workshop on key technologies

Co-organizers:

  • Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS): Takeshi Urao at
  • Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) for the Asian and Pacific Region: George Kuo at <gkuo07@gmail.com>; Akio Takenaka at
  • National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Japan: Ikuo Ando at <andow@affrc.go.jp>; Takashi Matsumoto at <mat@affrc.go.jp>