Start Date
April 17, 2017
Training course
Rabat, Morocco


Specialized training course on  “Ensuring the continuum between conservation and utilization through strengthening pre-breeding activities”

A/ Rationale and Justification

Improved varieties remain the key input in enhancing crop productivity and production, the adaptation and  resilience to the adverse effects of climate change, thus ensuring the food and nutrition security for the increasing population around the world. Ensuring continuous genetic gains in crop improvement programs is tightly linked to the availability, access and efficient use of genetic resources conserved ex situ in genebanks.  Especially, landraces and wild relatives in different crop genepools and taxon groups are crucial to overcome major biotic and abiotic challenges and contribute to the greater input use efficiencies (water, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.). Wild relatives constitute the untapped reservoir of novel diversity needed to solve complex traits such as tolerance to heat, drought and salinity, resistance to new virulences of major diseases and insects, and improving the end-use quality attributes. Pre-breeding should be an important component to support crop improvement programs aiming to release new varieties, and mainly the introgression of valuable genes from wild relative species which requires special skills and knowledge.

The proposed course will highlight the importance of ensuring the continnum between the conservation and utilization of genetic resources and will focus on pre-breeding approaches to transfer valuable traits from landraces and wild relatives.

B/ Objectives of the course

  • Highlight the importance of conserving and using genetic resources;
  • Train young scientists, technicians and graduate students on pre-breeding approaches;
  • Discuss arrangements for future collaboration for coordinated efforts in pre-breeding including the possibility  for exchange of parental germplasm;

C/ Participation

Around 15 participants from countries in Central, West Asia and North Africa (Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, India, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia).

D/ Main collaborators

ICARDA: Genetic Resources Section, Wheat breeding, barley breeding and food legume breeding

INRA-Morocco: barley breeding and biotechnology -Settat

University of Missouri, USA: Prof. Perry Gustafson