MSc Dragana Trkulja from Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops visited John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK between 16 and 29 November 2014. She took a course on wheat genetics WISP (Wheat Improvement Strategic Programme), and was trained for KASP (Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR) genotyping assays using SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers. The course and the training were a part of the planned activities within FP7 project titled “Genetics and physiology of wheat development to flowering: Tools to bread for improved adaptation and yield potential” (ADAPTAWHEAT).
Besides MSc Trkulja, there were twelve other participants at WISP course, mostly from the UK, and one from Germany and one from Norway.
This four-day programme included overview of research results, contemporary achievements on wheat genetics and breeding, lectures, practical training aiming at most efficient phenotypic evaluation, and laboratory training on application of advanced methods in molecular biology. Additionally, participants visited Limagrain breeding centre where they were introduced to their breeding programme, types of analyses carried out during assessment of agronomically important traits in wheat, as well as equipment and machinery they use.
In the second week of her visit, MSc Trkulja was trained in laboratory for KASP genotyping assay using SNP markers. Participants dealt with molecular evaluation of three mapping populations, one of which was developed by crossing a wheat line created by Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops (NS36-98) and UK wheat cultivar Paragon.
Participation in WISP course and KASP assay training gave us a significant insight into current wheat breeding strategies, increased and widened our previous knowledge, and enabled contacts with wheat breeders, which will strengthen the existing cooperation between Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops and John Innes Centre.