CIMMYT-China Specialty Maize Research Center (CCSMRC) Joint Meeting Held in Mexico City

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     On May 8th, Youming Cai, President of the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, led a delegation to visit the International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT) HQ in Mexico City. A joint working meeting of CIMMYT-China Specialty Maize Research Center (CCSMRC) was held to further strengthen the international cooperation and accelerate the CCSMRC working progress.

     Martin Kropff, Director of CIMMYT, 15 Maize Scientist from CIMMYT Global Maize Program (GMP) and Genetic Resources Program (GRP), Jing Zhu, Director of planning & finance division of SAAS, Liming Cao, Director of Crop Breeding & Cultivation Research Institute, Weimin Zhu, Director of Protected Horticultural Research Institute, Hongjian Zheng, Director of Maize Center of Crop Breeding & Cultivation Research Institute and Xinjia Chen, Specialist of Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau attended the joint meeting. The Meeting was chaired by Marianne Banziger, Deputy Director of CIMMYT. 

     Deputy Director Banziger and President Cai introduced the overall situation of CIMMYT and SAAS. They listened the report of the working progress of CCSMRC by Hongjian Zheng. Since the establishment of the center in March 2018, the center has made progress in the introduction and evaluation of germplsam, the identification of resistance to biotic stress (including the isolation of pathogens causing ear rot in specialty maize), genomic research on specialty maize, and the commercialization and international testing of elite lines, as well as poverty alleviation work in rural China. They were informed of the work plan in 2019 as well.

     The CIMMYT management staff spoke highly of the research results achieved by the CCSMRC in the past year. President Cai pointed out that Shanghai, as one mega city, is the research and consumption center for specialty maize. The breeding of specialty maize should be market-oriented. While ensuring the security of food supply, it is necessary to further improve the nutritional quality and safety of specialty maize. Director Dr. Martin Kropff and Deputy Director Dr. Marianne Banziger discussed the global strategy, research team building and personnel training of the CCSMRC. They suggested that SAAS should take advantage of the research results of fresh corn of our Academy, use molecular marker-assisted selection technology and genome-wide selection techniques to increase vitamin A and zinc level of specialty maize kernels and extend Shanghai's specialty maize varieties to the African market. The two sides also exchanged opinions on the harm of fall armyworm discovered in Yunnan and other places in China recently. High-end seminars on the prevention of fall armyworm is recommended to promote the international exchange of the control strategy of fall armyworm. They also discussed issues of the 2019 CIMMYT Global Maize Program (GMP) Annual Meeting in Shanghai.

     Accompanied by the CIMMYT Genetic Resources Program (GRP) scientists, the delegation visited the CIMMYT Germplasm Exhibition Hall, the world’s largest wheat and maize germplasm resources storage and corn relative and wild germplasm resources garden and biotechnology laboratory.

     The visit of CIMMYT further strengthened the relationship between SAAS and CIMMYT and determined the next research direction of the CIMMYT-China Specialty Maize Research Center.