First International Rapid Cycle Crop-Breeding Conference Announcement

January, 7-10, 2014 – 18980 Upper Belmont Place Leesburg, VA 20176, US

Now more than ever, there is a need to rapidly improve perennial crops to meet the challenges of climate change, scarcity of labor, the desire for reduced chemical inputs, the spread of exotic pests and pathogens, and increasing demands for product quantity and quality.

Yet breeding of these long-generation-cycle crops remains a slow, arduous process that has changed little over time.  Limitations include long juvenility periods, requirements for extensive breeding plots with significant field costs, and yearly limitations on flowering and fruiting related to chill and heat requirements.  Research has focused on marker assisted selection, germplasm characterization, and genetic engineering as means to advance breeding, and significant successes have been achieved. However, the successes of these strategies are still limited by lengthy generation cycles.  There is a critical need for the development of systems to reliably shorten breeding cycles in order to take full advantage of advances in genetic knowledge for crop breeding. Strategies to reduce generation cycles have been based upon horticultural and environmental manipulations.  While these practices have been useful in specific cases, there is also a need to explore alternative approaches with broad applications such as the manipulation of genes that regulate juvenility, flowering, and seed production.

This conference seeks to gather experts in the fields of plant breeding, genetics, molecular biology, horticulture, forestry, plant physiology and related fields  to discuss approaches and present the latest findings related to the shortening of breeding cycles in long-generation cycle crops in order to more efficiently and effectively face the challenges of improving the worlds production of food and fiber.

More information is available at the event website:

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