Opportunities for collaboration with Wageningen University

March 15, 2010 at 10:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Examining durum wheat fields in Lattakia province for Septoria symptoms. Right to left: Drs Maarten van Ginkel, Gert Kema, Mohammad El-Khalifeh, Miloudi Nachit and Munzer Naimi (partly obscured)

Dr Gert Kema, a world authority on Septoria tritici (the pathogen that causes septoria leaf blotch disease) visited ICARDA last month. Dr Kema, who works at the Wageningen University and Research Center in The Netherlands, presented a seminar entitled: ‘Mycosphaerella graminicola of wheat: towards a new insight, and its practical implications’. The seminar dealt with structural and functional genomics issues, phenotyping, and genome mapping (the Septoria tritici genome was mapped for the first time by his research team).

Dr Kema met with ICARDA breeders, pathologists and genetic resources specialists to discuss potential areas for collaborative research on Septoria, which affects both wheat and barley. Two key research areas were identified: the use of differential Septoria mycotoxins to screen durum and bread wheat genotypes; and virulence and aggressiveness in Septoria isolates. Collaboration could also include exchange visits between ICARDA and Wageningen scientists, and joint supervision of MSc and PhD students.

Accompanied by Dr Maarten van Ginkel, ICARDA DDG-Research, Dr Miloudi Nachit, ICARDA durum wheat breeder and other scientists, Dr Kema also visited durum wheat trials in the Ghab area, and the breeding program for Septoria resistance at the Syrian government’s Lattakia Research Station.

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