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Home>News Articles>Highlights of Accomplishments in 2007>Strengthening the agricultural biotechnology capacity of Southeast Asian countries
 September 13 2007
Laboratory exercises at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology, NTU, Taiwan.

Laboratory exercises at the Center for Advanced Biotechnology, NTU, Taiwan.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN ROC - The application of the powerful tools of modern biotechnology, particularly those involving DNA recombinant technologies, promises substantial improvement in food quality and a significant contribution in attaining food security. The research and development advances made by Taiwan in agricultural biotechnology and its subsequent agro-industry applications, provide a fertile ground for learning among countries in Southeast Asia. Thus, the training-workshop on agricultural biotechnology was formulated with the National Taiwan University (NTU), a premier university in the development of biotechnology in Asia, as the lead implementing institution. Held on 03-11 September 2007 at the Center for Biotechnology, NTU in Taipei, Taiwan, the training workshop was attended by a total of 27 participants from 7 countries in Southeast Asia as follows: Cambodia (1), Indonesia (3), Malaysia (3), Philippines (8), Taiwan (5), Thailand (3), and Vietnam (4). FFTC co-organized this activity with NTU, the Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) of Taiwan, and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in the Philippines. Generous support was provided by the National Science Council (NSC), the Council of Agriculture (COA), and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

The training-workshop primarily aimed to strengthen the agricultural biotechnology capacity of countries within Southeast Asia and was envisioned to pave the way for the enhancement of their respective biotechnology industry. The training-workshop was also expected to open doors for future cooperation and partnerships in the development of agricultural biotechnology industry in the region.

The module was developed by NTU, and all the lectures were conducted by professors of the university. The topics covered include: (a) recombinant DNA techniques-cloning tools, transformation and identification of transformants and protein expression systems; (b) methods for identification of genetically modified organisms (GMO); (c) molecular detection of plant pathogens; (d) genetic transformation in plants; (e) application of molecular profiling in crop quality management and improvement; (f) development of pharmaceutical proteins produced by transgenic animals; and (g) realities of developing and bringing a transgenic crop to the market.

The laboratory exercises provided considerable exposure to participants in learning biotechnology core techniques, complementing the topics discussed during lectures. The laboratory exercises also provided wide opportunities for knowledge networking among the participants and resource persons (lecturers).