Genetics Research Collaboration
April 5, 2017
Cotton researchers learn by sharing new techniques and by interacting with other scientists around the world. Such was the case when Dr. Peng Chee of the University of Georgia and Dr. Don Jones from Cotton Incorporated visited Dr. Warwick Stiller, CSIRO Research Group Leader of Cotton Breeding in Australia. Dr. Stiller organized a 1600km driving route to enable his U.S. colleagues to make on-farm visits in growing regions stretching from Toowoomba in the north to Griffith in the south. They discussed, with innovative growers, the challenges of managing water, high temperatures, and fertility and observed how high yielding varieties developed by Dr. Stiller’s team help push Aussie yields to 5.5 bales/acre (14 bales/hectare).
Dr. Stiller and two CSIRO scientists, Dr. Warren Conaty and Dr. Susan Jaconis, arranged for Dr. Chee and Dr. Jones to meet with various scientists at CSIRO’s Narrabri research site. While there they learned about breeding for disease, spider mite, and white fly resistance, visited the field-based climate change growth chambers (shown below), and observed the insect rearing laboratories.
With the upcoming 2017 Cotton Breeders’ Tour to be held in Arizona, USA, September 24-27, plans were made to continue the Australia / US research exchange by having Drs. Warwick, Conaty, and Jaconis participate to share their knowledge with the US cotton breeding community.