Monday, October 1, 2018

IRRI gathers researchers to advance breeding programs around the world

IRRI together with the Excellence in Breeding (EiB) program and the Genomic Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBii) gathers advanced research institutes around the globe to advance innovations and solve increasingly complex problems in rice-growing countries and beyond.

Last August, IRRI hosted more than 40 participants from public sector breeding programs across ten countries for the Joint Breeders’ Training and Workshop. The activity was an opportunity for breeders and informaticians to discuss, evaluate, and enable agricultural institutions in Asia and some parts of Africa to modernize their breeding programs.

Participants at the workshop evaluated the current capacity of breeding programs and searched for ways to improve their design, receiving application-oriented training in breeding information management, sampling logistics and genomics data analysis. Multiple service providers including IRRI Integrated Research Support, Intertek from Sweden, and Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) from Australia also participated, offering access to cutting-edge research technologies and services.

According to IRRI Assistant Scientist and workshop participant John Carlos Ignacio, “During the first day, we tried to identify the benefits and challenges of implementing analysis tools such as genomic selection. On the next day, we were engaged in more discussions on the value of centralized breeding services and high-throughput operation, followed by the current and next-generation genotyping technologies. Lastly, we focused on applied practices such as sample tracking and logistics, genotyping data visualization and analysis, and using tools for breeding quality control and decision-support.”

Participating institutions were: the World Vegetable Center from Tainan, Taiwan; AfricaRice from Senegal; Shenyang Agricultural University from Liaoning, China; Kasetsart University from Bangkok, Thailand; Bangladesh Rice Research Institute from Gazipur, Bangladesh; Philippine Rice Research Institute from Nueva Ecija, Philippines;  and the Institute of Plant Breeding from the University of the Philippines from Los BaƱos. IRRI researchers coming from Burundi, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines also attended the workshop.

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