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Home>Major Activities>Seminars and Workshops in 2016>Advanced Breeding Methods for Developing Stress-tolerant Food Crops

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Nov. 24-25, 2016
Tsukuba, Japan
NARO, Japan
Background / Highlights of Activity

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 broadspectrum 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 highthroughput 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.

  • 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

Expected outputs and outcomes:
  • Proceedings published that would document advanced breeding methods for stress resistance/tolerance used by researchers in different programs
  • Technical capacity of emerging scientists and breeding programs of developing countries strengthened
  • Ideas emerging from the seminar crystallized in collaborative projects between the North and South

Proposed seminar activities:
The 3-day seminar will consist of the presentations of review and research papers, panel discussion, as well as visits to the demonstrations on the use of advanced breeding methods. The review papers may include: 1) Sources of improved stress resistance and/or resistance in selected food crops; 2) Development and use of high-throughput marker applications in selected breeding programs; 3) Improved Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) conferring valuable stress resistance/tolerance traits; 4) Breeder-friendly decision tools; etc. The invited speakers will be based on the recommendations from the expected partners, JIRCAS and NARO.




Advanced Breeding Methods for Developing Stress-tolerant Food Crops