Doubled haploid (DH) technology is increasingly utilized in maize breeding for achieving rapid genetic gains and speeding up product development. Several maize breeding programs within public institutions and small and medium private enterprises, especially in tropical maize growing countries, lag behind in using this technology. By disseminating newly developed tropical inducer lines, offering technical know-how to breeding programs, and conducting training courses, CIMMYT has been working to close this gap. CIMMYT also produced an elaborate training manual on DH technology (available for download at CIMMYT library repository).
The National Maize Research Institute (NMRI), Hanoi, Vietnam, is currently expanding its technical capacity to adapt the DH technology to its institutional needs. To assist NMRI in achieving this goal, CIMMYT has been offering training to its scientists. Three NMRI scientists were trained at CIMMYT-Mexico from January to May 2012. NMRI then organized a four-day training course during 10–12 September 2012, which was led by CIMMYT scientists Vijay Chaikam and Dan Jeffers and attended by 60 NMRI breeders/scientists. Mai Xuan Trieu (NMRI director general), Luong Van Vang (Maize Development Project director), Kha Le Quy (Maize Breeding Department head), and Dang Ngoc Ha (International Cooperation Department head) inaugurated the course with discussions about the challenges for maize production in Vietnam. Jeffers presented on future challenges for maize in Asia, CIMMYT’s vision for addressing these problems, and identification and management of prominent maize diseases in Southeast Asia. Chaikam’s presentations covered all the technical details of DH technology and the components required for establishing a successful DH breeding program. Jeffers and Chaikam also visited Song Boi experimental station in Hoa Binh province to assess its suitability for DH operations.
During the closing ceremony, Mai Xuan Trieu and Luong Van Vang expressed their gratitude to Thomas Lumpkin (CIMMYT director general), Marianne Bänziger (CIMMYT deputy director general), and B.M. Prasanna (Global Maize Program director) for their efforts in forging collaboration with NMRI and the support provided to adapt DH technology in maize breeding programs.