Advanced course: ADVANCES IN BREEDING AND AGRONOMY FOR IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY AND QUALITY OF GRAIN LEGUME CROPS, Zaragoza (Spain), 16-20 October 2017


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BOKU-Scientists interested should please contact Ass. Prof. Dipl.-Biol. Dr. Boris Rewald from the
Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Ecology, for further information.

Objective of the course
Legumes are among the most important sources of protein from plant origin, and key food components for achieving a balanced and healthy diet. Despite their beneficial attributes for human health, the consumption of legumes in Europe is very low, partly since many consumers are not aware of their high nutritive value and role in disease prevention.
Besides providing novel food and feed products, legume co-products can offer a further opportunity for increasing added-value. The European Union and other Mediterranean countries are major importers of legumes despite their potential for greatly increased production. N-fixing legumes can replace energy-costly nitrogen fertilizer inputs and decrease pathogen pressure in cropping systems.
Thus, incorporating legumes in agroecosystems offers several benefits; for the environment, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, andfor the farmer by increasing the competitiveness of the value chain. The biodiversity of legumes also offers much potential for improving sustainability of agroecosystems and mitigating climate change, although challenges in the areas of yield stability, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, persist. However, over the past decade several EU projects have addressed many of these issues, resulting in significant progress.

This multidisciplinary course is designed to cover the recent advances in disciplines related to increasing grain legume yield, cultivation and consumption.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Understand the diversity and current status of legume cultivation including market opportunities.
  • Be able to define key criteria for legume grain quality and take into account the use of co-products.
  • Comprehend the mechanisms of legume-microbial interactions including biological nitrogen fixation.
  • Better manage legumes in conventional and organic cropping systems with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
  • Be familiar with recent advances in application of genomics to breeding.
  • Be aware of recent developments in legume breeding for yield, quality, and stress tolerance.
  • Understand advanced methodologies for shoot and root phenotyping and their uses for breeding and enhancing plant performance.


2. Organization
The course is jointly organized by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ), and the
EU FP7 KBBE research projects LEGATO (LEGumes for the Agriculture of TOmorrow) and EUROLEGUME (Enhancing of legumes growing in Europe through sustainable cropping for protein
supply for food and feed). The course will take place at IAMZ and will be given by well-qualified lecturers participating in these projects, coming from research centres and universities throughout Europe.
The course will be held over a period of 1 week, from 16 to 20 October 2017, in morning and afternoon sessions.

3. Admission
The course is designed for 25 participants with a university degree. It is intended for scientists interested in grain legumes with backgrounds in at least one of the following disciplines: agronomy, genetics, breeding, physiology. The course is also open to technical advisors and professionals from companies with these same qualifications.
Given the diverse nationalities of the lecturers, knowledge of English, French or Spanish will be valued in the selection of candidates, since they will be the working languages of the course. IAMZ will provide simultaneous interpretation of the lectures in these three languages.

4. Registration
Application forms may be obtained from:
Instituto Agronómico Mediterráneo de Zaragoza
Avenida de Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza (Spain)
Tel.: +34 976 716000 - Fax: +34 976 716001
e-mail
Webpage

Candidates should send the completed application form to the above address, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae, stating degree, diplomas, experience, professional activities, language knowledge and reasons for applying to the course. Copies of certificates should be enclosed with the application.
The deadline for the submission of applications is 16 June 2017.
Applications from those candidates who cannot present their complete records when applying, or those requiring authorization to attend the course, may be accepted provisionally.
Selected participants will be exempt from payment of registration fees.

5. Scholarships
Candidates from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) and candidates participating in LEGATO and
EUROLEGUME projects may apply for scholarships covering the cost of travel and full board accommodation in the Hall of Residence on the Aula Dei Campus.
Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

6. Insurance
It is compulsory for participants to have medical insurance valid for Spain. Proof of insurance cover must be given at the beginning of the course. Those who so wish may participate in a collective insurance policy taken out by the IAMZ, upon payment of the stipulated sum.

7. Teaching organization
The course requires personal work and interaction among participants and with lecturers. The international characteristics of the course favour the exchange of experiences and points of view.
The course will be taught with a combination of lectures, practical sessions, case studies and discussions.
Participants will work in groups on several exercises that will allow them to put theory into practice, preparing and presenting a case study related to the insertion of legumes in cropping systems, getting acquainted with genome management tools and genome-enabled selection, and characterizing legume shoot and root architecture through image analysis.
Participants are asked to present their own work/research results/activities through a poster presentation, which will facilitate discussions with the lecturers of the course.


03.04.2017