Fourth ICRISAT CEG Cousre

Participants trained: 26  from ICAR centers, State Agricultural Universities, Private Sector, Research Foundations, Governmental Organizations including 5 overseas self-sponsered from Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand

The Center of Excellence in Genomics (CEG) at ICRISAT-Patancheru continued its objective to strengthen the molecular breeding program in India, by hosting its fourth training of the year 2008, “Molecular Methodologies for Assessing and Applying Genetic Diversity in Crop Breeding” during 17-28 November 2008. This is the second course specifically for participants of CEG from in India and Asia. Twenty-six participants from ICAR centers, State Agricultural Universities, Private Sector, Research Foundations, Governmental Organizations including 5 overseas participants who are self-supported from Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand participated in this course.

The main thrust of this course is to expose the participants to the analysis and interpretation of molecular marker data that can now be supplied by a Genotyping Servicing Lab, such as the one housed at the CEG. The two-week training course included laboratory practicals, lectures (by genomic scientists, bioinformatics specialist, crop physiologist and biometrician and invited speakers), computer and biometrics classes using the specialized computer software for diversity analysis, association mapping and field visits.

Interacting with the participants on 21 November, Dr William Dar, Director General emphasized the need of marker technology in crop improvement. Dr Dar hoped, that after completion of the course the participants will actively consider application of molecular marker technology in their host institutes, thus helping poor farmers of the SAT regions with improved crop varieties.

In addition to ICRISAT/CEG scientists we have two resource persons Professor PK Gupta, Honorary Emeritus Professor and INSA Honorary Scientist, Meerut University, Dr BM Prasanna, ICAR National Fellow, IARI, New Delhi; Professor EA Siddiq, National Professor and Distinguished Chair, CDFD; Dr Joy K Roy, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, USA.

The course concluded with the Graduation Ceremony on 28 November in which the participants received certificates from Dr Vincent Vadez, Acting Global Theme Leader, Biotechnology and Dr Rajeev Varshney, Course Coordinator. Participants thanked ICRISAT for their selection and organizing this training course, acknowledging the support of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India Dr Vadez strongly encouraged the participants to follow-up on this course after going back to their institutes. Dr Rajeev Varshney appreciated the hard work of the participants and emphasized the value of the training course in enhancing the skills of our partners in India and Asia. He appreciated the hard work and contribution of several colleagues from ICRISAT including M/s Tom Hash, S Senthilvel, T Nepolean, Abhishek Rathore, Jayashree Balaji, Ajith Radhakrishnan, Seetha Kannan, Punna Ramu, V Rajaram, other colleagues, and the four guest faculty members Professor PK Gupta, Professor EM Siddiq, Dr BM Prasanna and Dr Joy K Roy. In his concluding remarks, Dr Varshney appreciated the efforts and patience of the participants and encouraged them to develop research proposals after returning to their institutes. He assured the participants of support from ICRISAT-CEG to enable them to undertake molecular breeding in their crop improvement programs.