We are pleased to announce the successful completion of our Molecular Laboratory Training Workshop held in partnership with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge from 27th March to 4th April 2017. The Molecular Laboratory Training Workshop is a flagship initiative of JR Biotek Foundation, developed to train, inspire and empower a new generation of agricultural research scientists and academics who can contribute to Africa’s development through agricultural research and innovation.
The training workshop included lectures and hands-on laboratory training sessions covering a broad aspect of molecular plant virology and pathology, molecular plant breeding and plant genetics, arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis, etc. The laboratory practical provided knowledge and practical experience in the following areas;
Basic molecular techniques, e.g. the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), quantitative real-time-PCR, ELISA, extraction of genomic material from plant tissues, molecular cloning strategies, etc.
Molecular characterization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in plant roots (using rice and maize as the model crop)
Molecular detection of plant viruses (using tobacco as the model plant)
Marker Trait Association experiment (using pepper as the model crop)
Confocal microscopy of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA)-stained intracellular fungal structures in fungal colonized rice roots
Principal Investigators, post-doctoral research associates and other research experts from the University of Cambridge, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia, University of Aberdeen, Rothamsted Research UK and the John Innes Centre, UK taught the workshop. We also provided a professional development and science leadership training course to the workshop participants. Overall, the Molecular Laboratory Training Workshop presented an excellent opportunity for the workshop attendees from Africa to meet, connect, and exchange ideas with world-renowned agricultural research experts from Cambridge, Africa and other parts of the world.