Workshop on Genomic Prediction in Ghent (Belgium)

Group photo at the Workshop in Ghent July 2023
Workshop Ghent 2023

The future of plant breeding: PhD student participates in workshop

How can we breed crops as efficient as possible to sustain food supply in the future? To investigate this research question, Alexander Kaier, PhD student in our Biocomputing Lab, participated in the annual work shop in genomic prediction, this year held at Ghent, Belgium.

The workshop, held by Prof. Dr. Aaron Lorenz from the University of Minnesota, aimed at allowing participants to leverage genomic information of crop populations to achieve the best possible breeding results. Among the many covered topics was the common impact of environmental conditions and genetic background on crop performance and breeding efforts, known as GxE (Genome x Environment) interaction. Such investigations are paramount regarding the aggravating conditions brought upon by the climate crisis, demanding the breeding of new cultivars that can withstand harsh climatic conditions and reliably supply food at the same time.

During the three-day workshop, Alexander was able to enhance his skills regarding problems related to crop breeding concepts, theoretically as well as during the hands-on sessions. These skills can help to advance the research in our Lab by allowing new analyses on existing project data as well as in the design of new experiments. Additionally, Alexander met many committed participants from academia and industry from all over the world who dedicated their work to the development of crops that feed the world population in the future. This exchange could form the basis for fruitful cooperation in the future.