This course is aimed at training students and scientists from the public and industrial sector, who are involved in local breeding programs of cassava plants. During this two week course the major topics in the field of modern breeding, including the latest breeding techniques using molecular analyses as a tool were discussed. The course covered different kinds of markers and their use in breeding programs for fingerprinting, mapping of traits and QTL’s, incrossing of specific genes (wild or transgene into cultivars) and quality assessment. The challenges to commercialize ‘elite transgenic events’ as well as legal issues related to plant breeding, such as breeders rights, were discussed. In addition, a session was organized on Cassava value chains to link advances in plant breeding with crop improvement objectives that are relevant for socio-economic impact.
The program also included a day of practical exercises on molecular markers to familiarize participants with the associated lab techniques as well as excursions to crop processing plants.