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Issue 63 – November 2013

GCP News
Issue 63 – November 29 2013
As the festive season approaches, we offer you an early ‘feast’ of newsflashes from our world and beyond it. For starters, a blogpost on drought and disease, and a related range of prescribed research remedies. The next course is an on-camera quiz on wheat research, tackled with zeal, style and skill! Follow this up with a tasty tutorial on plant breeding, then sink your teeth into a succulent assorted serving of research news on beans, cassava, maize and sorghum. We round off with main GCP ‘happenings’ throughout this momentous year – not forgetting the gem that was GRM – and we end with a chronicle of comings and goings within the GCP crew. Enjoy!

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1. Dialogues on drought and agriculture
The year 2013 witnessed considerable discussions on drought and how to combat its effects on agriculture, within the GCP community and elsewhere. More
Wheat P.Kosina CIMMYT-square-652. Wheat examined: Crucial questions, with answers from Richard Trethowan on video
All you’ve ever wanted to know about wheat and more, as recounted by Richard Trethowan in a brand-new six-part Q&A video series centred on GCP’s wheat research, while also touching on our Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP). More
Plant-Breeding-Course-square-653. Learning and growing with GCP: Self-paced plant breeding course
This comprehensive tutorial entitled ‘Plant Breeding Concepts and Methods’ was designed by Theresa Fulton (Cornell University, USA) and Robert Koebner. Access this tutorial, and others, through our Integrated Breeding Platform.
Sorghum S-Sridharan-square-654. Both broad and narrow: Scoping sorghum genetic studies
A CIRAD-led GCP-funded study on sorghum has been billed one of the broadest on genetic diversity for a cultivated crop. The study covered more than 3,000 sorghum ‘candidates’, then narrowed to a 'reference set'. Sorghum is the world’s fifth most important cereal, whose centre of diversity is nestled in northeastern Africa, with very intriguing variations across the African continent. More
Maize N.Palmer CIAT-square-655. Maize sweet and sour: A tolerant takeaway message
Just in case you missed it earlier, a team led by Leon Kochian of Cornell University, USA, (who is also our genomics Product Delivery Coordinator) discovered a sweet recipe for dealing with a sour customer – how to make maize more tolerant to aluminium-toxic soils. GCP funded this research. Among the threats to food security in the tropics, aluminium toxicity is nearly as grave a concern as is drought. More
Beans N.Palmer CIAT-square-656. To ‘b’ or not to ‘b’…?
…We have the answer so, unlike the hapless Hamlet, you need not ponder this thespian question! Beans and bean research were recently showcased in a ‘beanbag’ bonanza. In case you missed it earlier, here it is again!
GCP-logo-657. What of the note of G? GRM 2013...
It seemed the GCP General Research Meeting (GRM) this year was 'G-laden', and more…it was fruitful, offering fertile ground for ideas and fun, and overflowing with the GCP spirit! GRM gathered together 135 participants from 35 countries who shared ideas, thoughts, concerns, much more than a few laughs and a beverage or two over the four days of the meeting, which ran from 27–30 September, in Lisbon, Portugal. Just what do we mean by the GRM being 'G-laden'? More
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8. Which other events did we have in 2013?
Check out our astral array of activities in the course of the year:
  • The merry month of May's topic was mapping a merger in the tropics, when GCP’s Tropical Legumes I (TLI) researchers met their Tropical Legumes II (TLII) counterparts in Kampala, Uganda, from 20–24 of the month. This ‘union–reunion’ was to blend the upstream research focus of TLI and the more downstream seed multiplication and distribution approach of TLII into a single initiative in a post-GCP future, once TLI Phase II winds up in mid-2014. More
  • Joyful June brought the yearly meeting of the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP), held on the Mediterranean shores of France, at Montpellier. From17–20 June, IBP users and developers mixed and mingled to share ideas, updates and to compare notes on improving the Integrated Breeding Workflow System (IBWS). More on the meeting
  • The Integrated Breeding Multiyear Course (IB–MYC) continued into its second year, starting with the group from West and Central Africa (15–26 April), followed by the South and Southeast Asia group (1–12 July), and closing with the Eastern and Southern Africa group, from 14–25 October. More
  • More recently, GCP’s Executive Board (EB) met earlier this month (photo). More on the EB
GCP people
shutterstock 8327563-659. A treatise on the nature of change
All things must flow in this world, and GCP is no exception to this law!
The year 2013 saw the ebb and flow of a number of GCP staff members and Product Delivery Coordinators over the months.
  • We begin with new additions to our IBP ‘stream’: Shawn Yarnes is our new Genotyping Support Service (GSS) Scientist,
    while Valérie Boire joins us as IBP Communications Officer. More
  • And, for those who may have missed it, here are some previous 'Grandmaster moves on The Great GCP Chessboard!' More

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