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PMIL breeders in East and Southern Africa update research, plan seed trials

By Allison Floyd

University of Georgia, Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

The scientists in East and Southern Africa involved in breeding groundnut in the PMIL met Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29 and 30, at the Ufulu Gardens Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The participants included Amade Muitia (IIAM, Nampula, Mozambique); Justus Chintu (DARS, Chitedze, Malawi); Patrick Okori, Anitha Seetha and Harvey Charlie (ICRISAT, Lilongwe, Malawi); Lutangu Makweti (ZARI, Chipata, Zambia); Damaris Odeny (ICRISAT, Nairobi, Kenya); David Okello (NaSARRI, Serere, Uganda) and Dave Hoisington (UGA, Athens, Ga., USA).

Over the two days, the group discussed the results from the previous year’s research, and refined plans for the next year.

The group decided which lines to include in trials within each country (including in National Performance Trials for ultimate release to farmers), what new traits are a priority to target (e.g., high oleic content and leaf miner resistance), and what populations require genotyping and phenotyping to develop markers for important traits. Scientists also made plans for varietal demonstrations for farmers and other stakeholders.

In addition, the group identified informational materials on various aspects of groundnut production and nutrition and will share these across the region, translating them to local languages when necessary.

Finally, the team agreed to use the Integrated Breeding Platform’s Breeding Management System (BMS) to handle data management of the regional trials and individual breeding programs. In fact, the groups had already organized a workshop the following week, taking advantage of their time together in Lilongwe to share training on the BMS and to develop plans to implement the system further during the next year.

Published November 13, 2015