A three-day workshop on QTL Mapping and Breeding Simulation was held during 7–9 March 2012, at the Plant Breeding Institute of the University of Sydney, Cobbitty, Australia. It was attended by 35 participants, included plant geneticists, breeders, and graduate students from across Australia. The workshop was the ninth in a series organized by CIMMYT’s Jiankang Wang with the help of the CIMMYT Biometric and Statistics Unit and his team in China. Previous workshops were held in China, Mexico, and at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
The workshop format included lectures, practice exercises and discussions. The themes covered included: an introduction to plant breeding and quantitative genetics; linkage analysis and genetic map construction; QTL mapping methods; and principles of breeding simulation. The practice exercises provided for comments and suggestions on using the QTL IciMapping software and QU-GENE simulation tools, and allowed for closer interaction between the trainers and participants.
Primary lecturers at the workshop included Richard Trethowan (University of Sydney), Jiankang Wang (CIMMYT-China and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences), and Luyan Zhang (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and CIMMYT consultant). Richard worked at CIMMYT from 1996 to 2006 as head of wheat breeding for rainfed environments, and continues to be a valued collaborator and member of the CIMMYT family. Jiankang is a quantitative geneticist based in Beijing, and Luyan is currently working with him on QTL mapping methodology.