The BGRI is coming to AAAS

John Bakum and Julie Mollins
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The BGRI will be well represented at the upcoming meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held in Washington DC, 11-15 February.

BGRI members Jessica Rutkoski, Maricelis Acevedo and Dave Hodson will be presenting in a symposium titled "Pathogens Without Borders," on Sunday, February 14. And Ravi Singh, Distinguished Scientist and Head of Bread Wheat Improvement at CIMMY), will be recognized as a Fellow of the AAAS for his contributions to the field of agricultural research and development, particularly in wheat genetics, pathology and breeding.

Jessica Rutkoski
Jessica Rutkoski
Rutkoski, adjunct wheat breeder and quantitative geneticist at CIMMYT and assistant professor at Cornell University, will lead a discussion titled “Using Big Data and Global Partnerships to Accelerate Rates of Genetic Gain in Wheat Building Plant Pathogen Surveillance Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Rutkoski’s presentation will examine how to harness DNA marker data, data on disease resistance, grain yield and aerially collected phenotypes from cooperators at various sites to develop prediction models that can identify the highest yielding and most resistant wheat lines in a range of environments. When applied in breeding, these prediction models can accelerate the rate of genetic improvement.

The presentation will examine new methods of data collection, quantitative rust resistance, conventional breeding and genomic selection. Rutkoski will also show results from genomic selection validation studies.

Dave Hodson
Dave Hodson
Hodson, senior scientist at CIMMYT and International Focal Point for BGRI's global wheat rust surveillance effort will lead a discussion titled "Building Plant Pathogen Surveillance Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa" The session explores the challenges to and progress of coordinated surveillance, early detection and control methods of new emerging crop disease threats across large geographic regions.

Marcelis Acevedo
Marcelis Acevedo
Maricelis Acevedo, Assistant Professor in Plant Pathology at North Dakota State, and a 2010 Women in Triticum Early Career Award winner, will present a talk titled "Field Nurseries in East Africa: Promoting International Collaborations and Training." The discussion will highlight the critical contributions of the International Stem Rust Screening Nurseries in Kenya and Ethiopia.  In addition to the important work of screening thousands of wheat lines, the international nurseries serve as hubs of collaboration and training within East Africa and also serve scientists from around the world.

Follow the AAAS meeting on social media with #AAASmtg and follow the BGRI on Twitter @globalrust for updates throughout the event.