Friday, November 28, 2014

Rice diseases workshop

The “Rice diseases workshop “Improving epidemiology and disease diagnosis for sustainable management” was organized by AfricaRice, CIRAD and IRD with the financial support of Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). It took place in Montpellier (France), from 24 to 26 November 2014.

The main objectives of this workshop were to i) initiate the development of robust, cost-effective and transportable epidemio-surveys and diagnosis protocols and ii) design the framework of an international network of rice pathologists taking in consideration continental/regional specificities (i.e. mainly targeted to Africa).

The workshop was also an opportunity to review results and progress of the current GRiSP project on “Methodologies and new resources for genotyping and phenotyping of African rice species and their pathogens for developing strategic disease resistance breeding programs” (MENERGEP).

The discussions mainly focused on the following topics:
  • Standardized protocols for main rice disease diagnosis, genotyping and phenotyping;
  • Pathogen isolate collections: rules, management and back-up strategies;
  • Pathogens epidemio-survey: a multi-pathogen approach and better connection with
  • Breeding taskforce and rice-Hubs in Africa;
  • Emerging diseases: symptoms, distribution and diagnosis tools.

In some regions, and particularly in Africa, plant pathologists are few compared to the number of diseases rice is facing and financial resources devoted to research are limited. In this context, it is critical to set up networks of specialists to be able to share experience and to improve coordination. The workshop aimed at contributing to strengthening and extending partnership and building capacities in rice pathology.

An African Network of Rice Pathologists was established, which could ensure in the future the structuration of a trans-disciplinary community of scientists aiming at taking forward and sustaining the actions anticipated during the workshop.  

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