GCP's crop research is based on seven crop- and crop cluster-based Research Initiatives (RIs). Each RI is led by a Product Delivery Coordinator. At their formation, the RIs were known as Challenge Initiatives (CIs). Access the individual Research Initiative InfoCentres (on the left-hand menu) for further information including research databases, research products, facts and figures, feature stories, blogposts, videos and more.
The seven Research Initiatives
|1. Cassava –
yield in Africa's
|2. Legumes –
|3. Maize –
maize for Asia
|4. Rice –
|5. Sorghum –
|6. Wheat –
cereal yields in
The seventh RI in comparative genomics takes advantage of knowledge in model crops to facilitate gene discovery in other genomes – one of the challenges GCP is supposed to address. The main objective of this RI is to build on the Phase I characterisation of genes identified in Phase I (Alt1 and Pup1) to identify orthologous gene(s) for aluminium tolerance in rice and sorghum, and to improve phosphorus uptake efficiency in sorghum and maize.
All in all, each RI features the following:
- A first component on the phenotypic characterisation of contrasting and diverse set of germplasm (eg, reference sets, introgression lines, synthetics, etc). The main output will be germplasm, with new elite alleles for agronomic traits, for prebreeding activities.
- A strong molecular breeding component – the core of RI activities – focusing primarily on marker-assisted recurrent selection, marker-assisted selection mainly for cassava and some of modified backcross-based nested association mapping (BCNAM) populations for sorghum. The main output will be improved germplasm for breeding activities.
- A strategic data management component to ensure scientists plan for sufficient time and resources to appropriately analyse store and label the data generated during the five years of the second phase. The main output will be a user-friendly dataset accessible to, and useable by, colleagues within and without GCP.
- A significant capacity-building component, at both the human and infrastructure level, to ensure that developing-country partners can conduct field experiments, and appropriately manage and analyse project data. The main output will be a network of partners able to use modern breeding tools in a sustainable manner and a set of molecular breeding communities of practice.