Accelerating the development of improved varieties of select crops using genomic technologies was one of the key topics discussed by China’s leading crop scientists during a recent trip made by ICRISAT’s Genetic Gains team to the country.
Great interest was expressed in deploying modern genomics-based breeding and low-cost marker technology developed by ICRISAT in their crop breeding programs by Prof Shubo Wan, President of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS) and Shandong Peanut Research Institute (SPRI). A detailed project-planning meeting was also conducted for the recently sanctioned project (on peanut genomics and molecular breeding) between the Biotechnology Research Centre (BRC) of SAAS, Jinan and ICRISAT, funded by the Natural Science Fund (NSF), China.
The visit was mainly to review and strengthen collaborations with the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS) and is a follow-up to the visit of the Chinese team to ICRISAT in 2015. Past successful collaborations include the setting up of ICRISAT-SAAS joint Laboratory for Peanut Research in 2014 at SPRI, Qingdao
The ICRISAT team led by Dr Rajeev K Varshney, Research Program Director-Genetic Gains, comprised of scientists Dr Manish Pandey, Arun K Pandey and Rakesh Kumar. The team visited research institutes such as National Centre for Gene Research, Shanghai (led by Prof Bin Han); Biotechnology Research Centre, Jinan (led by Dr Xingjun Wang); SAAS, Jinan (led by Prof Wan Shubo); SPRI, Qingdao (led by Dr Hongjun Zhao, DrXiaoyuan Chi and Dr Mei Yuan); and BGI- Qingdao (led by Mr Liu Xin). The team visited several field trials of these institutes to gain insights on high-quality research and its applications in the development of new products for the benefit of the farming community. The team also participated in a one-day international workshop.