The purpose of this blog is to help build and maintain strong relationships with partners and other stakeholders in CIAT’s agrobiodiversity research by keeping them informed about recent developments and by providing them with an easy way to inquire and comment about our work. Center researchers report here on new projects, key advances in our collaborative efforts, events, visits, and crop variety releases and adoption.
Solutions in the seeds
The Center’s collaborative work to conserve, understand, and use genetic resources of those crops contributes importantly to making agricultural production more eco-efficient. The superior crop varieties that result from our work offer many valuable traits, such as high yield and stress tolerance, which are vital for guaranteeing global food supplies in the face of rapidly rising demand, shifting disease and insect pressures, rampant environmental degradation, and the looming threat of climate change.
Nurturing New Generations
While some developing countries already have strong bioscience capacity, many others urgently need assistance to build up their human talent for applying new knowledge from areas such as genetics and genomics to crop research. CIAT contributes importantly to capacity strengthening and develops innovative partnerships through which new generations of plant scientists can improve a wide range of crops, using advanced facilities available at CIAT and elsewhere in the developing world.
Building on a bioscience platform
In CIAT’s work on agrobiodiversity, biotechnology techniques are employed to increase the speed and expand the possibilities of crop improvement. For this purpose, the Center has created a state-of-the art bioscience platform, where we apply advanced techniques across diverse crop gene pools to tasks such as germplasm conservation, genomics and phenomics applications, and genetic transformation.
CIAT’s modern genebank, operated by our Genetic Resources Program, is a central component of the bioscience platform. It holds in trust for humanity unique collections of plant genetic resources – 65,000 samples in all – which are critical for progress in crop improvement.
CIAT’s bioscience platform also includes diverse laboratories and field facilities. See below brief descriptions of our main laboratories along with contact information.
- Developing novel germplasm with crop traits, such as stress tolerance and improved nutritional quality, that would otherwise be unavailable because of obstacles such as sexual barriers between species
Contact: Wilmer Cuéllar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Improving our understanding of virus diversity and its interactions with biotic and abiotic factors to facilitate the development of resistant germplasm and other control measures
Contact: Manabu Ishitani (email@example.com)
- Discovering new genes through the integrated application of genomics and phenomics to make crops more efficient in using resources such as water and nutrients
Molecular Genetics and Tissue Culture
- Developing and using molecular markers and genomics tools to elucidate crop gene pools and make crop improvement more efficient, particularly for nutritional quality and stress tolerance
- Developing and promoting low-cost methods for cassava propagation, using farmer participatory methods
Contact: Bodo Ratz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Conducting molecular analyses to reveal genotype-phenotype correlations for the development of molecular markers used in marker-assisted selection for stress resistance
Cassava Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Contact: Luis Augusto Becerra (email@example.com)
- Developing gene discovery, genomics, and phenomics tools for novel crop improvement strategies focused on complex traits, such as whitefly resistance and tolerance to postharvest physiological deterioration
Contact: Mathias Lorieux (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Developing genetic and genomic tools to accelerate gene discovery, analyze intra- and interspecific crosses, and enhance breeding for traits such as disease and pest resistance
Contact: Soroush Parsa (email@example.com)
- Developing sustainable technologies that better enable improved crop varieties to realize their yield potential in the field by limiting losses to arthropod pests
Contact: Gloria Mosquera (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Using advanced techniques to analyze plant pathogen populations and identify sources of disease resistance for the development of elite cultivars through plant breeding
Contact: Elizabeth Alvarez (email@example.com)
- Applying the latest technologies to diagnose plant diseases, analyze pathogen populations, identify sources of genetic resistance, and support the use of molecular markers for resistance breeding
Applied Microbiology for Forage-based Animal Nutrition
Contact: Mario Cuchillo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Selecting starter cultures for silages of different tropical forage species and assessing the influence of diverse feed sources on livestock intestinal microflora and their animal health and environmental effects