AfricaYam holds activity meeting at IBRC
An AfricaYam project meeting was held with collaborators Dr Ryohei Terauchi, Lead Scientist at the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center (IBRC), and Dr Satoru Muranaka from Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS).
IBRC is one of the 11 partner Institutes of the AfricaYam project led by IITA. Terauchi invited scientists from IITA, Dr Patrick Adebola, Project Leader of AfricaYam, and Dr Asrat Amele, the Head of Yam Breeding, for a two-day visit to his laboratory at Iwate, Japan. The visitors were received on 29 August by the President and Chair, Board of Trustees of the Institute, Mr Eikou Sugihara. He thanked the visitors for coming to Iwate and indicated that the Institute was willing to continue supporting the collaboration between IITA and IBRC. He was happy that IBRC was able to support African small-scale farmers through the genomics work they are doing in collaboration with IITA.
The visitors were later taken on a tour of IBRC laboratories, green houses, research field trials, and other facilities. The visitors were impressed by the state-of-the-art genomics facility at IBRC.
A workshop was also organized by IBRC during the visit where all the scientists working on yam presented their work. Topics discussed included Guinea yam genome version 2; yam population genomics, linkage mapping with controlled crossed family, GWAS, and Sex determination in yam. Discussions were also held on joint publications and areas of future collaboration. Presentations were made by both visiting scientists. Amele presented a general overview of the IITA Yam Breeding Program; Adebola’s presentation focused on the activities of the AfricaYam project.
On 30 August, the scientists paid a courtesy call on the office of the Vice Governor of Iwate Prefectural Government in Morioka. They were received by the Vice Governor, Mr Kazuei Tamotsu, as well as the Director General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in Iwate, Mr Mikiya Ueda. Adebola gave a summary of the historical background of the ongoing collaboration between IBRC and IITA, which had started in the early 1990s. He explained that the purpose of their courtesy call was to seek continual support to further strengthen the relationship between the two institutions. Adebola pointed out that IBRC is one of the few advanced institutes that are working on yam outside the continent of Africa.
The sequencing work they had done on the yam genome was a great achievement, which would help to accelerate the delivery of improved varieties to African yam farmers. In his remarks, the Vice Governor thanked the visitors for coming and assured them that his administration would continue to support IBRC and their collaboration with IITA. He commended IBRC for the high quality of their genomics work, which had earned them several awards. He further stated that Iwate Prefectural Government was very pleased that IBRC is contributing to African agriculture though their collaboration with IITA.