Collaborators join forces for GCP’s Rice CI Launch meeting

Monday, 26 April 2010 19:00



The launch meeting of the Rice Challenge Initiative (CI) Improving drought tolerance in rice in Africa was held from 13–15 April 2010 at Agropolis–CIRAD in Montpellier, France. All collaborators, including AfricaRice and the national rice breeding programmes of Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, were represented at the meeting, and detailed discussions were held on the activities and logistics of the project which is due commence with the preliminary evaluation of F3 breeding populations by all partners in June 2010.

In order to increase the chance of successful, precise drought phenotyping, one of these four populations will be selected and phenotyped by all partners in the first round of marker-assisted recurrent selection. The pace of population development will increase as skills and capacity develop. In parallel work will start on characterisation of the target population of environments – the rainfed lowland ecosystems of Sudanian and Guinea Savannah in West Africa.  Work will also start on the identification of traits of interest for targeted environments using novel phenotyping methodologies.

The launch meeting was preceded by a preparatory Rice CI meeting hosted by AfricaRice (formerly known as ‘WARDA’) in June 2009. The Rice CI is the second of GCP’s seven Challenge Initiatives to have been officially launched, following the kick-off meetings for the Wheat CI, held in India and China in February 2010. Launch meetings for the GCP’s Sorghum, Comparative Genomics and Cassava CIs are scheduled to take place in the course of 2010, with details available on our Events calendar.

Full materials from the Rice CI Launch meeting, including a list of participants, agenda and presentations, will be made available in due course.