ICRISAT’s Center of Excellence in Genomics (CEG) conducted its 9th training course on Molecular Plant Breeding for Crop Improvement on 7-18 November at ICRISAT-Patancheru, under ICRISAT-CEG Phase II. Twenty-seven participants from Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Chile, and Indian state agricultural universities, ICAR research centers, research foundations, and the private seed industry took part in the training. The interactive course exposed them to advanced methodologies of molecular plant breeding such as DArT, SSR and SNP markers, linkage and QTL mapping, association mapping, marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS), genomic selection (GS), NGS technologies, and bioinformatics tools and their application in crop improvement.
Coordinator Rajeev Varshney stressed that while progress has been achieved in using molecular markers in improving productivity of some pulse crops, much still needs to be done to surmount challenges such as cost and infrastructure that are inhibiting technology access in most developing countries. CEG, he added, was set up for national partners to have access to technology through capacity building and genotyping services. Speaking on behalf of Director General William Dar, CLL Gowda described the major challenges that the agricultural community will face in the coming days, such as warming temperatures, droughts, floods, increasing land degradation, loss of biodiversity, rising food prices, zooming energy demand and population explosion that would pose extreme challenges to feed the world, and how genomic tools would play an important role in improving crop productivity, producing sufficient food, and ensuring better health and nutrition.
Also speaking on the occasion, Oscar Riera-Lizarazu (Research Program Director, Dryland Cereals) urged the participants to take advantage of advanced integrated tools and technologies to carry out their research.
Source: ICRISAT Happenings