JIRCAS has been working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the collaborative project, titled “Evaluation and Utilization of Diverse Genetic Materials in Tropical Field Crops (EDITS),” focusing on yam and cowpea, which are important regional crops in Africa. This project is aimed at advancing crop breeding activities.

IITA’s annual general meeting, dubbed the “Research for Development (R4D) Week” was held at the IITA Headquarters in Nigeria on November 23-28. “R4D Week” provides opportunities for all members of IITA, including the Board of Trustees (BoT), executives, and over 230 scientists working in various regions of Africa, to discuss their achievements and to set the institute’s direction for research and development (Photo 1).

A poster session was also organized during R4D Week. Among those nominated for awards were two poster presentations (titles shown below) describing the outputs that were generated under the collaborative project.

  • "EDITS-Yam: Harnessing genomic information and molecular tools for yam improvement for West Africa" (presented by Dr. R. Matsumoto, JIRCAS)
  • "Application of optical measurement: Promising tool for high-throughput phenotyping" (presented by Dr. H. Ishikawa, IITA)

Scientists from various research areas visited JIRCAS’s booth during the session to discuss the outputs of the EDITS project (Photo 2). After a 1-min presentation introducing the development of spectrophotometry as a tool for determining quality-related traits in cowpea grain, Dr. H. Ishikawa received encouraging word from Dr. John Pickett, a member of IITA-BoT, who remarked during interaction that Dr. Ishikawa’s presentation was “the best among all participants.” Other IITA scientists also gave positive feedback, saying that “these developed tools and experiences should be disseminated to the region for further development of the crops” and that “it is important for IITA to have collaborative activities with advanced institutes like JIRCAS,” among other comments. These kind words have been very encouraging and should pull us for further advancement of international collaborative activities. JIRCAS will continue to participate actively in international collaborative researches with international/regional/national research centers in Africa, and will provide our research outputs for the development of the region.

Ryo Matsumoto
JIRCAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow