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Int'l Cooperation Update


Plant Mutation Breeding Network for Asia Pacific Region Established

Source: Institute of Crop Sciences


The First Workshop of the Plant Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region (MBN) was held in Jingzhou, Hubei, China from July 22 to 25, 2019. Representatives from 13 Member Countries including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam, three Observers from Australia, Cuba and Senegalese, experts from Joint FAO/IAEA Division and ICRISAT as well as breeders and researchers from local institutions and universities attended the workshop.



The Workshop was organized by Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Yangtze University, with technical support from the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, and was co-organized with the Chinese Society of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences, National Center of Space Mutagenesis for Crop Improvement and 13th Five-year Plan of Key R & D Program of Crop Mutation Breeding. Mr. Zheng Feng, President of Yangtze University, Ms. Yuqiu Sun, Vice Mayor of Jingzhou City, Mr. Luxiang Liu, Deputy Director General of Institute of Crop Sciences, CAAS, Ms. Sobhana Sivasankar, Section Head of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Joint FAO/IAEA Division and Ms. Lin Zhai, Division Chief of Department of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS), presented the opening ceremony and delivered speeches.


During the meeting, representatives and observers exchanged ideas on topics such as collaborative network construction, new techniques and methods for plant mutation breeding, plant-induced mutations and modern biotechnology, and challenges and countermeasures for national and regional mutation breeding. The latest research progress and success stories of domestic/regional plant mutation breeding were showcased at the meeting as well.


Data shows that up to now, a total of 3246 mutant varieties have been bred through induced mutation approach and been officially lly released (FAO/IAEA Mutant Variety Database: http://mvd.iaea.org/),  in which over 2000 were contributed by Member Countries in the Asia Pacific Region. Dissemination and cultivation of many advanced varieties, for example rice mutant variety Khang Dan from Viet Nam, rice mutant varieties RD6 and RD15 from Thailand, groundnut mutant variety TG26 from India, sorghum mutant variety Pahat from Indonesia, cotton mutant variety NIAB-Karishma and mungbean mutant variety NM-2016 from Pakistan, banana mutant variety Novaria from Malaysia, wheat mutant variety Luyuan502 from China, etc., have made great and significant impact in enhancement of food security and increasing local farmer’s income. Participants engaged in extensive discussion on enhancing mutant germplasm exchange, sharing mutation techniques and protocals and platforms, identifying and utilizing mutant genes, strengthening capability of young researchers, enabling joint resource mobilization for funding and steering process under MBN, and finally formed the “Jingzhou Proposal”.


This event is expected to promote fundamental and applied research and to foster regional cooperation in the field of plant mutation breeding in the Asia Pacific region, thus to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of UN.


It is agreed that three Member Countries of MBN which are China, Indonesia and India, are members in the Standing Steering Committee; China is the first Chairman country, and Mr. Luxiang Liu serves as the first chairman for a two-year term. The meeting decided to hold MBN seminar every two years, and the second will be held in Malaysia in 2021.



It is reported that In September 2017, the Technical Meeting on Plant Mutation Breeding hosted by National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia, recommended to establish a network to improve the efficiency of crop mutation breeding in Asia Pacific Region; further in August 2018, a follow up discussion was held on the topic in Vienna during the FAO/IAEA International Symposium on Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology; in May 2019, the Consultants Meeting for the Implementation of a Pilot Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region was held at the Headquarters of FAO/IAEA in Vienna. The successful holding of this workshop would be a further step to promote the technical exchange and cooperation of induced mutation technology in the field of food and agriculture, and promote the sustainable development of regional agriculture.