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Upcoming webinar reviews Nagoya Protocol for sharing genetic resources

 The American Institute of Biological Sciences is holding a webinar on Thursday, February 27 when Patrick Reilly from the U.S. State Department will discuss the Nagoya Protocol, the system of rules for sharing genetic resources. 

During “Life Finds A Way: An Overview of the Nagoya Protocol from the U.S. Government,” Reilly will give a short history of how the protocol was developed, what it actually says (and what it doesn’t), the difference between monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing, and how the U.S. government can help.

 The Nagoya Protocol is a multilateral treaty that sets up a legal framework for utilizing genetic resources. It should be a part of every researcher’s thinking, from how to conduct research, to manage collections, and how to work with partners. Even for researchers based in the United States, familiarity with the protocol, and what it requires, is important as provider countries may have rules/regulations/laws that carry obligations that apply to samples even after they have left the country, such as restrictions on use, third party transfer, and tracking of any shared benefits.

The webinar will be February 27 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The session is free, but registration is required.

For more details or to register, go to https://www.aibs.org/events/webinar/nagoya-protocol.html

Bertiolis honored by peanut research colleages

David Bertioli

David and Soraya Bertioli, who are leading Peanut Innovation Lab projects that build on their groundbreaking work to map the peanut genome, were honored Thursday night at the closing of the 51st Annual American Peanut Research and Education Society conference.

The two scientists took home the

Soraya Bertioli

American Peanut Council Research Award, while David Bertioli also won the Corteva Agriscience Award for Research and Education.

Soraya Bertioli heads project, Use of novel genetic diversity for peanut varietal development in East Africa, work that involves tapping into wild relatives of peanut to provide new alleles to improve cultivated species to have resistance to groundnut rosette disease (GRD).

David Bertioli leads Incorporating new wild alleles to improve elite West African peanut cultivars, work focused in West Africa where the process has resulted in six new Senegalese varieties with improved yield stability, haulm mass, higher yield and larger seeds.

APRES recognizes researchers for contributions

Congratulations to the 2020 winners of awards from the American Peanut Research and Education Society. APRES held its 52nd annual meeting online earlier this month.

Tim Grey, University of Georgia, was named a Fellow of the Society.

Kelly Chamberlin, USDA-ARS, won the Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award.

Ye Chu, University of Georgia, took the Corteva™Agriscience Award for Excellence in Research.

Corley Holbrook, USDA-ARS, was chosen for the Corteva™Agriscience Award for Excellence in Education.

The Bailey Award for the best paper went to Scott Tubbs of the University of Georgia for “Timing of Termination for Supplemental Replanted Peanut to Maximize Yield and Grade” which he authored with Scott Monfort.

University of Georgia students swept the Joe Sugg Award Graduate Student Competition, sponsored by North Carolina Peanut Growers Association with:

  • Chandler Levinson, University of Georgia, First Place
  • Kayla Eason, University of Georgia, Second Place
  • Nick Hurdle, University of Georgia, Third Place

National Peanut Board Graduate Student Poster Contest was won by:

  • Pin-Chu Lai, University of Georgia, First Place
  • Ben Aiger, University of Georgia, Second Place
  • Y-C Tsai, University of Georgia, Honorable Mention

Researchers tour plots in Uganda

Researchers in Uganda recently met to tour peanut research plots after a months-long lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19.

A team working on a project to document young people’s experiences, challenges and views on the peanut value chain – the Photovoice team – recently visited the director of research at NaSARRI in Serere on July 13. Archileo Kaaya, the head of the Department of Food Technology and Nutrition at Makerere University described the project for hosts at NaSARRI, then David Kalule Okello took the  Photovoice team on a tour of the groundnut activities on the station. Okello, who is lead scientist on a project assessing the genetic diversity of peanut grown across eastern and southern Africa, is co-PI on the Photovoice project and work as a plant breeder-geneticist and Senior Research Officer with Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization.

From left, Stephen Lwasa, co-PI and a lecturer in the Department of Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics at Makerere University; Daisy Kemigisha, master’s student in agricultural economics; Kaaya; Ruth Martha Mirembe, master’s student in food science and nutrition; and  Okello, Groundnuts Breeder-Geneticist and CoPI of the project orientating the Photovoice Team in the onstation research activities.

The group, along with research associate Ronald Owiny (third from left) tours experimental plots onstation at NaSARRI Serere.

USAID Nutrition explores different packages

USAID Advancing Nutrition is holding a webinar to discuss the different strategies experts have to address gaps in nutrition services. Packages to address the gaps — planning and implementation guidance, training materials, and job aids – exist, but often are fragmented.

USAID Advancing Nutrition conducted a review of the most-used packages, to help governments and non-governmental organizations compare the content of program packages; combine, adapt, or harmonize them as needed; and, ultimately, to strengthen and expand nutrition-related services. During this webinar, speakers will share this package review, and dive deeper into the MAMI, IMAM, NACS and C-IYCF packages. They’ll take a look at how the packages have been adapted or adopted, how nutrition has been strengthened within the packages, and how these packages can be harmonized with country guidelines.

Speakers include:

Sascha Lamstein, MS, PhD, is a Senior Technical Advisor with the USAID Advancing Nutrition project.

Kelsey Grey, MSc, is a MAMI Specialist with ENN responsible for managing the update of the MAMI Tool (pathway of care), a key programming resource to identify and manage at-risk mothers and infants under six months of age (MAMI).

Marko Kerac, MBBS, DTM&H, MPH, PhD, RNutr., is a Clinical Associate Professor and Program Director for the Nutrition for Global Health Masters of Science at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Laura Kiige, MSc, is a nutrition specialist working with UNICEF Kenya’s country office.

Ezekiel Mupere, MBChB, MMed, MS., PhD, is a pediatrician and medical epidemiologist and the head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and a senior lecturer at Makerere University.

The online event is 23 July, 9-10 a.m. Eastern Time.

USAID Advancing Nutrition is holding a webinar to discuss the different strategies experts have to address gaps in nutrition services. Packages to address the gaps — planning and implementation guidance, training materials, and job aids – exist, but often are fragmented.

USAID Advancing Nutrition conducted a review of the most-used packages, to help governments and non-governmental organizations compare the content of program packages; combine, adapt, or harmonize them as needed; and, ultimately, to strengthen and expand nutrition-related services. During this webinar, speakers will share this package review, and dive deeper into the MAMI, IMAM, NACS and C-IYCF packages. They’ll take a look at how the packages have been adapted or adopted, how nutrition has been strengthened within the packages, and how these packages can be harmonized with country guidelines.

Speakers include:

  • Sascha Lamstein, MS, PhD, is a Senior Technical Advisor with the USAID Advancing Nutrition project.
  • Kelsey Grey, MSc, is a MAMI Specialist with ENN responsible for managing the update of the MAMI Tool (pathway of care), a key programming resource to identify and manage at-risk mothers and infants under six months of age (MAMI).
  • Marko Kerac, MBBS, DTM&H, MPH, PhD, RNutr., is a Clinical Associate Professor and Program Director for the Nutrition for Global Health Masters of Science at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Laura Kiige, MSc, is a nutrition specialist working with UNICEF Kenya’s country office.
  • Ezekiel Mupere, MBChB, MMed, MS., PhD, is a pediatrician and medical epidemiologist and the head of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and a senior lecturer at Makerere University.

The online event is 23 July, 9-10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Register for the event here.

Feed the Future holds talk about effects of COVID-19 on global food supply

Feed the Future is holding a discussion among stakeholders on July 30to explore how we can mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on global food, nutrition and water security, including through improved coordination between humanitarian and development actors and actions.  

Country-specific data and examples from implementing partners, ACDI/VOCA, DAI, CORUS International, Helen Keller International, as well as a representative from the USAID Ethiopia mission will inform our discussion.

Speakers include:

  • Trey Hicks, Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (alter ego for the Associate Administrator for Relief, Response and Resilience), USAID 
  • Maura Barry, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (alter ego for the Assistant to the Administrator), USAID
  • Max Primorac, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator (alter ego for the Assistant to the Administrator) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, USAID 
  • Greg Collins, Deputy Assistant Administrator and USAID Resilience Coordinator, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID


Featuring a discussion with:

  • Muhammad Nurul Amin Siddiquee, Chief of Party of Feed the Future Bangladesh Livestock Production for Improved Nutrition, ACDI/VOCA Country Representative
  • Euphresia Luseka, Water Governance and Policy Specialist, DAI
  • Wendi Bevins, Resilience Technical Advisor, CORUS International
  • Pooja Pandey Rana, Deputy Chief of Party, Helen Keller International
  • Representative from USAID Ethiopia

USAID also will be unveiling a new platform during the meeting that will allow for stakeholders to share learning, data, impacts and reports on COVID-19.

The discussion will be July 30 from 8:30-10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Register here.

Innovation Lab seeking resiliency research proposals from African partners

The Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) program, a collaborative research grant program between the Markets, Risk and Resilience Innovation Lab and the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED) is seeking research proposals from African institutions to advance host-country leadership in defining and implementing research projects.

ALL-IN calls for researchers at African institutions to take the lead in defining priorities within the following thematic areas:

  • Resilient Escapes from Poverty: Bundled programs that can have a bigger and more lasting impact on persistent poverty than the sum of their parts.
  • Financial and Agronomic Innovations for Inclusive Growth and Resilience: Expanding the potential of insurance, stress-tolerant seeds and other tools to manage the risk of drought, flood or other disasters.
  • Resilient Systems for Broadly-based Agricultural Growth: Ensuring that markets and other social systems are competitive and do not bypass women and young people.

An estimated 9-12 awards will be made under this request for proposals with a maximum award amount of $450,000. To find out more and keep up with deadline dates for submission, visit the ALL-IN page on the MRR Innovation Lab’s website.

Georgia Peanut Tour cancelled

Organizers have cancelled this year’s Georgia Peanut Tour in response to coronavirus concerns. The annual tour draws around 200 people from around the world to spend three days visiting sites along the peanut value chain in Georgia.

The Peanut Innovation Lab regularly hosts visitors from partner countries to attend the tour and see first-hand the infrastructure that allows Georgia to produce half of the peanuts consumed in the U.S.

In the end, organizers found safe planning too difficult to bring together a crowd of people to travel, eat meals and tour sites together, all while maintaining strict social distancing and safety precautions. 

“We love hosting the Peanut Tour, and were determined to try and make it happen. However, as planning progressed, it became apparent that the prudent option would be to cancel the 2020 Georgia Peanut Tour. This was not an easy decision, but I am confident it was the right decision,” said Tim Brenneman, the chairman of the tour committee. The Georgia Peanut Commission hopes to host a 2021 tour in Southwest Georgia.

Submit articles for special peanut issue of “Agronomy”

Peanut Innovation Lab Director Dave Hoisington and North Carolina State University Professor David Jordan are editing a special issue of “Agronomy” (ISSN 2073-4395) entitled “Peanut : A promising star to feed the future.”

This special issue belongs to the section “Crop Breeding and Genetics“.

“Peanut (groundnut) is an important legume grown widely around the world,” the editors say in the solicitation for articles. Because peanut is nutritious, and the plant is nitrogen-fixing, requires minimal inputs and performs well under water-limited conditions, it is a vital crop, but diseases can be damaging. “Recent success in sequencing the genomes of the cultivated peanut and several diploid relatives opens opportunities for gene identification and genomic selection in breeding. The use of wild relatives to introduce new diversity is already showing results. Crop production practices tailored to the inputs available are critical for maximizing yields and quality.

“In this Special Issue, we invite research and review articles (a limited number) focused on the following areas of study: (i) the application of genomics, high-throughput phenotyping and other -omic technologies for analyzing diversity, gene identification and breeding to develop improved varieties; (ii) understanding and improving nutrient use efficiency, including nitrogen fixation; (iii) developing effective weed, pest and disease management strategies; and (iv) improving and maintaining nutritional quality through varietal development and better storage and processing.”

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Manuscripts can be submitted until the end of 2021. All papers should be original (not published elsewhere) and will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal and will listed together on the special issue website. 

Details can be found at the journal’s website: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/agronomy/special_issues/Peanut