CSIR-CROPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE HOLDS A THREE DAY TRAINING WORKSHOP ON AFLATOXIN

CSIR-Crops Research Institute in collaboration with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) has organized a 3-day training workshop on “Breeding for Aflatoxin Resistance with Marker Assisted Selection”.
The workshop which took place from October11-October13, 2017, commenced with an opening ceremony at the Agricultural Productivity Technology Centre (APTC) of the CSIR-Crop Research Institute, Fumesua-Kumasi. The occasion witnessed over fifty participants comprising both research scientists, staff of the institute and students from Ghana, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Speaking at the occasion, the acting director of CSIR-CRI Prof. Emmanuel Otoo said the training was aimed at providing participants with intensive hands-on training on breeding for aflatoxin resistance with marker assisted selection — from DNA extraction to data analyses.
The course instructor, Dr. Marilyn Warburton of (USAID) in her opening remarks stated that chronic consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated foods and feed poses significant threats to both human and animal life. She lectured the participants on the topic, “Integrating Molecular Markers into Plant Breeding”. The lecture highlighted Genotype Identification/Fingerprinting, Genetic Diversity/relationship studies, Molecular mapping etcetera as some importance of using molecular markers.


According Dr. Warburton, aflatoxin is a highly carcinogenic toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus Flavus.  The fungus as well as the toxins it produces are commonly found in soil and plant matter including cereal, peanuts, seeds and other legumes, she said. She averred that, inveterate exposure to such toxins can have a negative impact on health and has been associated with liver cancer, hepatitis B, suppressed the immune systems, and malnutrition as well as stunted growth in children, therefore necessitating a multidisciplinary approach to analysis, action and solution.
The participants were later segmented in groups to conduct a practical laboratory training to demonstrate DNA extraction at the institute’s biotechnology laboratory, under the surveillance of Dr. Ruth Prempeh, a research scientist in the biotechnology division of the institute.
The team then proceeded with the extraction process referred to as Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR). Results from this test were separated to visualize the bonds and the level of aflatoxin determined.
The workshop ended with presentation of certificates to participants. The course instructor, Dr. Marilyn Warburton in her closing remarks urged the participants to practice what they had learnt.
She called on Ghanaian universities and national science programs to integrate Marker Assisted Selection processes to create aflatoxin-resistant maize varieties to be adopted by Ghanaian farmers to help reduce aflatoxin as well as improve economic wellbeing of the Ghanaian farmer.
The Director of CSIR-CRI, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin commended the organizers of the workshop. She said research on aflatoxin is in line with the institute’s mandate and encouraged more of such collaborations and support from donor agencies.


Participants at the workshop visited the Biotechnology laboratory at the CSIR-CRI.

The course instructor, Dr. Marilyn Warburton supervising an experimental set-up at the laboratory.

 

A cross-section of participants at the workshop

 

Dr. Marilyn Warburton visited a maize field in the company of some scientists of the Institute

Participants at the end of the workshop

 

 

 

 

CSIR-Crops Research Institute in collaboration with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) has organized a 3-day training workshop on “Breeding for Aflatoxin Resistance with Marker Assisted Selection”

The workshop which took place from October11-October13, 2017, commenced with an opening ceremony at the Agricultural Productivity Technology Centre (APTC) of the CSIR-Crop Research Institute, Fumesua-Kumasi. The occasion witnessed over fifty participants comprising both research scientists, staff of the institute and students from Ghana, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Speaking at the occasion, the acting director of CSIR-CRI Prof. Emmanuel Otoo said the training was aimed at providing participants with intensive hands-on training on breeding for aflatoxin resistance with marker assisted selection — from DNA extraction to data analyses.

The course instructor, Dr. Marilyn Warburton of (USAID) in her opening remarks stated that chronic consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated foods and feed poses significant threats to both human and animal life. She lectured the participants on the topic, “Integrating Molecular Markers into Plant Breeding”. The lecture highlighted Genotype Identification/Fingerprinting, Genetic Diversity/relationship studies, Molecular mapping etcetera as some importance of using molecular markers.

According Dr. Warburton, aflatoxin is a highly carcinogenic toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus Flavus.  The fungus as well as the toxins it produces are commonly found in soil and plant matter including cereal, peanuts, seeds and other legumes, she said. She averred that, inveterate exposure to such toxins can have a negative impact on health and has been associated with liver cancer, hepatitis B, suppressed the immune systems, and malnutrition as well as stunted growth in children, therefore necessitating a multidisciplinary approach to analysis, action and solution.

The participants were later segmented in groups to conduct a practical laboratory training to demonstrate DNA extraction at the institute’s biotechnology laboratory, under the surveillance of Dr. Ruth Prempeh, a research scientist in the biotechnology division of the institute.

The team then proceeded with the extraction process referred to as Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR). Results from this test were separated to visualize the bonds and the level of aflatoxin determined.

The workshop ended with presentation of certificates to participants. The course instructor, Dr. Marilyn Warburton in her closing remarks urged the participants to practice what they had learnt.

She called on Ghanaian universities and national science programs to integrate Marker Assisted Selection processes to create aflatoxin-resistant maize varieties to be adopted by Ghanaian farmers to help reduce aflatoxin as well as improve economic wellbeing of the Ghanaian farmer.

The Director of CSIR-CRI, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin commended the organizers of the workshop. She said research on aflatoxin is in line with the institute’s mandate and encouraged more of such collaborations and support from donor agencies.