Prof. Ian D. Godwin is from School of Agriculture and Food Science and Centre for Plant Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD, Australia. He has stopped by Department of Agronomy and Horticulture (AGH), Fac. of Agriculture, IPB Bogor during his business visit to Jakarta in May 20, 2011.
Prof. Godwin is interested in studying various aspects of sorghum improvement and use. His group studies about sorghum mostly use available molecular tools. He is currently coordinating 21 scientists in his group to explain various aspects of sorghum improvement for future food, feed, and biomass production.
While at AGH, he discussed with Dr. Trikoesoemaningtyas, Dr. Agus Purwito, Dr. Desta Wirnas, Dr. Darda Effendi, Prof. MA. Chozin, and Prof. Sudarsono about several possible collaborative activities that can be explored between staffs of Dept. AGH and his groups. We hope that his visit to Dept. AGH, IPB would be followed by many other visits in the future and that the potential collaboration between AGH staffs and his group will be realized.
Moreover, He also presented a very interesting seminar entitled: ‘Tropical crop improvement in the post genomics era: molecular tools for the bio-economy.’ A number of AGH staffs and graduate (MSc./PhD) students attended his seminars. Summaries of his seminar presentation were as follows:
The sorghum and rice genome sequences have been publicly available for several years, and these will underpin much of the post-genomic research into cereal crop improvement in the coming century. The genome sequences will enable rapid in silico identification of candidate genes in mapped regions known to be involved in the expression of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL), and facilitate more highly saturated genome maps with database mining for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and alelic diversity for important grain quality, disease resistance and developmental gene.
In addition to rice’s premier status as the world’s number one staple food crop, sorghum is important as a grain and forage crop, as a model for the maize and sugarcane genomes, and most recently because of its emerging potential as a biomass crop. The combination of new tools such as whole genome mapping and selection, developments in association mapping, robotics and computational biology for high throughput sequencing and transgenic make for a powerful package for cereal genetic improvement.
At the University of Queensland, we have produced sorghum with altered the protein:starch matrix by targeting the S-S cross linking of the beta and gamma-kafirins. We have characterized a range of sorghum germplasm for grain quality parameters, and are in the process of manipulating genes involved in seed storage protein and starch biosynthesis to alter the nutritional and bio-industrial quality of the endosperm.
More recently, we have commenced both forward and reverse genetic approaches to improve stover quality for nutritional and bio-industrial applications. Additionally, Australia is home to 17 wild sorghum and 3 wild Oryza species, many of which are distributed through the Indonesian archipelago. These are important genetic resources for crop improvement and conservation of biodiversity. Biotechnological and genomic tools will play important roles in characterizing, conserving and utilizing these resources.
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- Seminar by Prof. Ian D. Godwin of The University of Queensland
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