August – September 2018: Modern breeding techniques of maize

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For more information, contact Sylvie De Buck or



August 21th – September 8th 2017: Modern breeding techniques of maize

In this course, experts from Europe (Flanders) and AFrica came together and shared their knowledge about maize breeding. The experts from Flanders shared their knowledge about maize breeding and biotechnological techniques to obtain better maize varieties, the experts from Africa communicated about all the threats relative to their region that affect maize cultivation and production. During this course, lectures were alternated with lab and field demonstrations, discussions, exercises and visit to field trials. In addition, an introduction on risk assessment and the regulatory issues was given by experts from Flanders and Africa. The participants could also present their work on the 8th international meeting of the IOBC/WPRS working group in Ghent. As such, participants received within three weeks a solid base for both the development of a new maize variety to procedures how to register and commercialize a new variety
For more information, contact Sylvie De Buck or
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19-30 September 2016: Banana research in Africa: modern breeding techniques, regulatory and biosafety issues

This course aimed at Africans engaged in banana improvement programs including as well scientists, regulators and lawyers to train them (1) in modern breeding techniques, (2) on how to collect relevant and reliable data to perform risk analysis and (3) how to communicate their scientific results and goals.
The program gave an overview of the most important banana diseases and how to address them through breeding as well as biotechnological approaches. The program continued with an overview of regulatory and risk assessment principles relevant to the African region. The participants also obtained more insights in the metabolomics of banana, bioinformatics methods and banana processing. Finally, there was a two day workshop on how to communicate research findings and goals to a non-scientific audience and the public at large. The sessions were very interactive, including group work, presentations and discussions. The program also included visits to confined field trials and local farmers.
This course was realized with the support of IPBO, UGent, VIB, IITA, NARO, UNIDO, KULeuven and VLIR-UOS.
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fotobalkjeParticipants’ remarks

“The Course was generally very well organized. Lecturers and organizers seem to be genuinely committed.”

“I will definitely play my role in biosafety assessment better than before the course. I would recommend it to others.”

“The content of the Course was very relevant to both developing and developed countries. It answered the current problems associated with GMOs.”

“Thank you very much for your warm welcome and hospitality.”

“My institution will benefit greatly to the knowledge I have acquired and also to the network created with other scientists”

“The course has provided me with knowledge that has direct effect on about 80% of the general breeding work back home”

“Lots of new information for the breeding community”




Previous specialist courses