In Madagascar I visited the coastal region where rice can be grown year-round. For that reason, we have operated off-season seed increase of breeding material in the coastal region and we made selections among breeding lines and harvested the seed. In addition, we evaluated a screening trial in salinity-affected fields and harvested experimental plots. In Antananarivo, we had planning meetings for the upcoming field season. We decided which breeding lines to test further, at which field sites and under which plot design. In addition, I taught counterpart scientists details about certain data analyses such as genome wide association studies or SNP marker detection in data obtained from sequencing.
On my return from Madagascar I stopped at Leuven University in Belgium to take part in the oral defense of a PhD candidate defending a thesis on the effects of P deficiency and drought on rice productivity and underlying traits. Next, I attended a workshop entitled “Solving the mystery of Upland-Rice P efficiency” at the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany. The main topic was how to use mathematical modeling in order to predict which are the key processes that allow efficient rice varieties to take up P from P-fixing soils.