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Issue 59 – March 2012

GCP News
Issue 59 – 9th March, 2012

image-2It seems that a 'feel-good factor' is the flavour of this issue of GCP News! As the sun gets ever brighter at GCP, we share the radiance as we bring you news of an auspicious event, a major donation, good news from the crop world and a new member in the GCP team. To this happy mix, add a wealth of capacity-building activities, stellar publications bubbling with hope, and finish off with a thumbs-up all round from the world of social media. Enjoy!

signing-square-small1. CGIAR Consortium awarded International Organisation Status at Paris meeting

The CGIAR Consortium attained International Organisation Status, after officials signed a treaty in Paris, France, on 2 March 2012. This notable happening will enable the CGIAR to further deliver real impact, and brings a wealth of advantages to agricultural research. More

maize-diversity x-fonseca cimmyt-web1-square2. Syngenta, CIMMYT and GCP: exact combination unlocks the vault of genomic resources for key crop, maize
GCP is pleased to announce that it has received a major donation of transgenic-free maize genetic resources from Syngenta's allelic diversity platform. This donation constitutes a unique tool to improve maize globally, which will now be available to researchers worldwide. Read more in the full press release.

cassava-sky n-palmer ciat-square3. Cassava: the 'phoenix' of the crops rises from the ashes of climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa
Like the mythical firebird, or rare forest flowers which burst into bloom only after a fire, cassava seems not only to survive, but also thrive in ever more searing conditions, as detailed in new research from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Read more about how science is keeping an eye on this 'tiger crop' in the full story on the 'Rambo root' that beats the heat. (
IBP portal)

4. GCP team welcomes new member on board
GCP is delighted to welcome Dr Hamer Paschal to the GCP team, as consultant to support the capacity building area. More


cassava-leaf n-palmer ciat web-square5. Cassava breeders and data managers of the world unite...
...at the GCP/Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) cassava workshop, scheduled to take place from 23–24 June 2012, in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop, which comes hot on the heels of the 2nd Scientific Conference of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21-II), is targeted at potential users of the IBP, and focuses on breeders primarily from Africa, though breeders from Asia and Latin America are also welcome to apply (conditions apply). More in the IBP portal

capacity-building-web-square6. All systems go for GCP capacity-building training programme
GCP is pleased to announce a new comprehensive capacity-building training programme set to commence in April 2012, with intensive hands-on training supported by online and other resources. The programme will run over a three-year period (two weeks each year), and builds towards a high proficiency in molecular-breeding methodologies and the use of facilitative informatics tools and services. Trainees are drawn from Africa and Asia, and the goal is to ensure an in-depth understanding of the progressive pipeline of activities that constitute an integrated breeding project. More in the IBP portal

7. Bilingual data management workshop undertaken in Mali
A bilingual training workshop targeting field research technicians was conducted by GCP staff and data management consultants from 23–27 January 2012 in Bamako, Mali. The workshop, organised in collaboration with the Institut d'Economie Rurale du Mali (IER) and conducted by AGRICON International (Canada), brought together 28 participants from ongoing GCP research projects in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, working on molecular-breeding projects for cowpeas, groundnuts, rice and sorghum. More in the IBP portal

genomics-theme-web-square8. DNA sequencing: The Next Generation
To boldly go...where few GCP News
readers have gone before...
Join GCP on its continuing mission to discover new findings in plant genomics and next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies with seasoned genomic trekkers, Rajeev K Varshney and Gregory D May, as they take us on a star-studded voyage with a Special Issue of Briefings in Functional Genomics journal titled 'Next-generation sequencing technologies: opportunities and obligations in plant genomics'.

groundnuts icrisat-web-square-small9. Genomic advances caught in the Arachis web raise hopes of cracking the groundnut genome: GCP projects and other initiatives illustrated in prominent article
A recent article by a crack team of genomic experts, including several GCP researchers and GCP's Leader for Theme 1 (Comparative and applied genomics), Rajeev K Varshney, has been published in the scientific journal Biotechnology Advances Vol 30, Issue 3. More

GCP online
10. GCP website undergoing major renovation
GCP is very pleased to announce the imminent inauguration of a new-look website, to be launched soon. We shall retain our current url: www.generationcp.org, though the navigation and 'look and feel' promise a much more welcoming and intuitive journey through GCP's online space. We also take this opportunity to apologise for any inconsistencies users may be experiencing on our current website, and we thank you for your patience during this period of transition. Hoping to welcome you on our new website very shortly!

gcp-twittergcpfacebook11. Social media puts best foot forward
GCP is growing steadily in online social media, all thanks to those of you who have 'liked' us and 'followed' us on Facebook and Twitter. For those who are yet to join us in this new galaxy of community space, please check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts (and ‘like' us and ‘follow' us respectively)! As you may already have noticed, Facebook and Twitter icons have also been added to the top right-hand corner of our website, plus you can also connect with us using the links in the footer of this newsletter.

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