Monday, August 22, 2022

Modern rice breeding training kicks off in Bangladesh

More than 60 scientists from Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) participated in a virtual training on modern rice breeding organized  by the Rice Breeding Innovations Platform (RBI) of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).The training, Statistical genomics and quantitative genetics applications in modern rice breeding, aims to improve the capacity of BRRI scientists in cutting-edge breeding approaches to enhance genetic gains and help institutionalize genomic selection at the institute.

“Breeding is heavily moving towards data-driven breeding decisions and approaches,” said Waseem Hussain who leads the Late and Salinity Rice Breeding Program at IRRI. “It is crucial to foster knowledge and skill development in these areas among IRRI’s national agricultural research and education system (NARES) partners. It is high time to redesign the breeding strategies through IRRI-NARES collaboration.”

Dr. Hussain and his team are facilitating the program, which started on 8 August and will run for four months, consisting of 40 lectures and 8 modules on basic and advanced topics of modern breeding approaches, data-driven breeding decisions, and quantitative genetics to strengthen the IRRI-NARES breeding network, benefit the massive research community, and develop a new generation of plant breeders.

“At IRRI, we are highly keen, motivated, and passionate about strengthening the IRRI-NARES relationship and building strong collaborations with colossal impact,” Dr. Hussain added.

“We know that the output of rice breeding, particularly in the case of grain yield, has already reached a peak level,” said Dr. Khandakar MD. Iftekharuddaula, chief scientific officer and head of the Plant Breeding Division at BRRI. “Exceeding this peak requires integration of modern breeding know-how including concepts of statistical genomics and quantitative genetics. The demand from modern breeding is not only the development of breeding lines for grain yield but also for trait development for many stress-tolerant and grain-quality traits. This course has been carefully designed to cover technical expertise on both line and trait development using open source R software.”

Akhlasur Rahman, head of BRRI Regional Station in Bhanga Faridpur said the training  is crucial training for BRRI researchers . “The training will definitely improve the quantitative genetics and analytical skills of BRRI breeders.” 

Hans Bhardwaj, RBI Platform Leader emphasized how critical the training is in transforming the IRRI-NARES breeding network. “This is a significant start  to take IRRI’s mission and vision of capacity development among NARES partners to the next level,” said Dr.  Bhardwaj. “We hope this will foster collaborations and partnerships and bridge the knowledge gaps between IRRI and BRRI scientists.”  


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