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Work on transgenic drought tolerance

Takashi Kumashiro (Director, Biological Resources Division) and Kazuo Nakashima (Senior Scientist, Biotechnology Lab of Dr. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki) from the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) visited CIMMYT during 29-30th November for the first mid-year year review meeting of a new five year project funded by the Japanese Ministry of Fisheries and Food (MAFF).

The project is the second phase of a JIRCAS-CGIAR collaborative initiative to develop transgenic drought tolerance in a range of tropical staple crops—an initiative launched by Masa Iwanaga when he was Director of the Biological Resources Division of JIRCAS. The current project involves the use of a second generation of drought responsive elements (DREB genes) generated by JIRCAS scientists and other transgenes (especially transcription factors) generated by the Gene Discovery Research Team of the Plant Science Center of the RIKEN Yokohama Institute. Led by GREU director Jonathan Crouch, the current project is a joint wheat and rice initiative through collaborations between CIMMYT, CIAT and IRRI.