In collaboration with DAC-FW, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA), New Delhi, the ICAR-IIWBR in Karnal and the Indo-German Bilateral Cooperation on Seed Sector Development funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), a 2-day International Workshop on “DUS testing of Wheat and Barley” was organized at the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (ICAR-IIWBR) in Karnal, Haryana on February 19-20, 2020.

The aim of this workshop was to exchange know-how and experiences on procedures and technical methods for DUS testing (Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability) of Wheat and Barley.

About 40 seed sector experts attended the workshop. The workshop was chaired by Dr. Vinod Prabhu, Chairperson of PPV&FRA in Delhi and Dr. Gyanendra Singh, Director of ICAR-IIWBR in Karnal. In addition, Dr. T. K. Nagarathna, Registrar at PPV&FRA, Mr. Dipal Roy Choudhary & other PPV&FRA staff also attended. Dr. Sowmini Sunkara (National Project Coordinator, Indo- German Cooperation on Seed sector project) also participated and supported the organization of the workshop.

Dr. Arun Gupta, Principal Investigator of DUS project on Wheat, IIWBR, Karnal and Dr. Charan Singh, Principal Investigator of DUS project on Barley, IIWBR, Karnal provided at the beginning an overview about the situation on DUS testing of wheat and barley in India.

From the German Federal Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt), Mr. Ralf Roessler, Head of Section DUS testing of cereals of BSA, was speaker of the workshop. Along with him, Dr. Elmar Weissmann, senior seed sector expert of Germany contributed with his experiences.

The technical program of the workshop covered various topics such as:

  • PVP system in India;
  • DUS testing of wheat and barley in India;
  • Selection of reference varieties and database maintenance;
  • DUS testing of cereal crops in Germany;
  • Hybrid DUS testing procedures in India;
  • Testing of the sterility of A-lines (CMS) – Experiences and approaches in Germany;
  • Technologies & tools on DUS-testing used for wheat and barley;
  • General views and experiences of plant breeders on DUS/VCU testing;
  • Interaction session with scientists and representatives from private and public seed sectors involved in DUS testing activities of cereals.

All speakers provided excellent presentations, information and recommendations on the topics. During the second day visits of DUS testing fields of wheat and barley as well as practical demonstration and discussions on best practices of DUS testing of wheat and barley completed the program. The workshop was very much appreciated by the participants, the speakers and the organizers.

The project “Indo-German Cooperation on Seed Sector Development” is part of the bilateral cooperation programme of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and implemented by the consortium of ADT Project Consulting GmbH and German Plant Breeders’ Association.