An exciting time for wheat research: Incoming director highlights CIMMYT wheat breeding innovations

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Alison Bentley, who will be joining the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) next month as director of the Global Wheat Program and the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat, joined wheat research colleagues at the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Technical Workshop last week to introduce herself and offer her perspective on current prospects for wheat research.

Bentley, who currently serves as director of Genetics and Breeding at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in the UK, emphasized the efforts of CIMMYT and partner scientists in the Accelerating Genetic Gains in Maize and Wheat for Improved Livelihoods (AGG) project.

“AGG is unique, and it’s something that’s really close to my heart in harnessing innovations and deploying them in breeding to deliver genetic gains,” she said.

Bentley gave workshop attendees a sneak preview of new speed breeding facilities in CIMMYT’s Toluca experimental station, which will help wheat breeders reduce cycle time, saving costs and getting high yielding, improved varieties tested and in farmers’ fields more quickly.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in wheat research and breeding,” she told the gathering.

See Alison Bentley’s full presentation from the BGRI Technical Workshop below.

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