WorldVeg at ASRT Conference
The Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) in collaboration with Kasetsart University (KU) organized the second Asian Solanaceous Round Table (ASRT) on 23-25 February 2017 at KU, Bangkok, Thailand.
More than 175 participants from private seed companies, research institutions and the public sector attended the conference and participated in discussions on advanced research methods and major diseases and pests of tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers. Also in attendance were WorldVeg Tomato Breeder Peter Hanson, Pepper Breeder Sanjeet Kumar, Vegetable Breeder Mohammed Rahka and Postdoc in Plant Pathology Marti Pottorff. Mohammed presented his work on identifying insect resistance in tomatoes, while Peter led discussion sessions on abiotic stress breeding with Arun Joshi from Rijk Zwaan Seed Co., and on strengthening public-private collaboration with Frederic Perefarres from Enza Zaden Seed Co. Sanjeet and Suchila Techawongstien of Khon Kaen University discussed joint hosting of a graduate student at WorldVeg headquarters to test the combining ability of chili anthracnose resistant inbred lines.
The third day of the conference included field visits to breeding trials and field experiments of the Tropical Vegetable Research Center (TVRC) and WorldVeg at KU’s Kamphaeng Saen campus. Associate Professor Julapark Chunwongse, Coordinator of the Tropical Vegetable Research Center (TVRC), presented work on TVRC’s advanced tomato and chili pepper breeding lines and germplasm collection. Marti presented WorldVeg’s history in identifying and breeding for resistance against chili anthracnose, multi-location field screening efforts in collaboration with seed companies and universities in Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan, and future field screening efforts planned for Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Marti also described her ongoing collaboration with Paul Taylor, Plant Pathologist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, on the identification of the anthracnose pathogen (Colletotrichum spp.) in Southeast Asia and Oceania. A demonstration of anthracnose-infected chili peppers using two artificial inoculation methods was on display.
APSA and WorldVeg recently signed a consortium agreement that will enable participating APSA members to view and have early access to newly developed WorldVeg breeding lines of tomatoes, peppers and cucurbits, as well as scientific information generated by the Center. The consortium agreement will strengthen collaboration and linkages between the WorldVeg and regional seed companies to ultimately benefit farmers and consumers.
Story and photos: Anna Marie Bahala, Marti Potorff, Peter Hanson, Fen Beed