Indian and Australian scientists collaborate for better wheat

November 14th, 2007 - 2:01 am ICT by admin  
The workshop, initiated by Dr Mangala Rai, Director General of ICAR, will be co-hosted by ICAR and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

In his opening remarks, the Australian High Commissioner to India, John McCarthy, said the workshop will form the basis of a joint ICAR-ACIAR collaborative five-year program on marker-assisted breeding in wheat in a range of applications to improve disease resistance, drought and temperature tolerance and quality of wheat.

“This workshop will determine the objectives for a series of collaborative research projects which will bring together the world-class wheat research expertise from both countries,” said McCarthy.

Marker assisted selection is a tool that allows plant breeders to ‘mark’ specific genes that can deliver desirable traits. These genes aredentified and marked, and descendants can be tested easily and quickly in a laboratory for the ‘marked’ gene. This tool speeds up breeding programs, achieving greater efficiency, consistency and accuracy in new varieties.

“Marker assisted selection in the ACIAR wheat-breeding projects will hasten the development of better wheat traits such as disease and drought resistance, and improved quality and yield,” said McCarthy.

“Wheat is a major commodity for both countries, and Australia and India are world leaders in wheat breeding. There is a long history of successful collaboration through ACIAR, including the identification and development of yellow rust resistant strains of wheat, and we look forward to building on this.”

In both India and Australia, changes in temperature and rainfall conditions and emerging diseases are putting pressure on wheat production systems, and there is an ongoing drive for improved quality (including high protein and baking quality).

Australia is in a unique position of sharing similar agricultural systems, environments and challenges with many parts of India, including thelluvial Indo-Gangetic Plain, and the central wheat growing regions of Madhya Pradesh.

ACIAR’s partnership model provides research benefits to both collaborating countries, by bringing together expertise from a range of research organisations working on problems of common interest and generating mutual benefits. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |