Bangi, 25 November
- Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in collaboration with the University of Nottingham and University of Reading, United Kingdom and Elite Scientific Instrument Sdn. Bhd had organized the ‘International Conference on Crop Improvement (ICCI2013)’ with the theme “Issues and Prospects for Biotechnology Intervention” from 25th to 26th November, 2013 at Equatorial Hotel, Bangi.
Opening ceremony was officiated by Yang Berbahagia Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj. Ramlan, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). In his opening speech, he hoped that UPM will always keep in touch in crops research and development with The University of Nottingham and University of Reading. Also in the opening ceremony were Prof. Dr. Zulkifli Idrus, Director of ITA; Prof. Dr. Abdul Shukor Juraimi, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, UPM and Prof. Datin Dr. Siti Nor Akmar Abdullah, as chairperson of organizing committee of ICCI 2013. Prof. Datin Dr. Siti said, the keynote address had been presented by Prof. Jeremy Roberts from the University of Nottingham, UK. The conference had been attended by academicians and plant science researchers as well as research heads in the country with interest on crop improvement.
"The conference is an excellent opportunity for participants to meet and build network with local and foreign plant researchers to gain knowledge on the latest and effective biotechnology strategies as well as innovations for crop improvement. There are many interesting topics that had been presented by well-known plant researchers from Malaysia and abroad,” said Prof. Datin Dr. Siti.
This conference had provided a platform for exchange of ideas and promote international co-operation as well as networking on advancement in crop improvement. It had also provided an update on recent development in Arabidopsis research including its application for functional genomics.
There had been five (5) sessions throughout the conference where 23 invited speakers had presented their latest and interesting research findings related to the theme. It had been attended by 133 participants from 21 organizations including those from universities, research institutions and industry players.
Among the speakers who had presented their research findings at ICCI2013 were:
1) Prof. Dr. Carol Wagstaff from University of Reading, UK
2) Prof. Dr. Zoe Wilson from University of Nottingham, UK
3) Dr. Sean Mayes from Crops for the Future Research Centre
4) Dr. Rusli Ibrahim from Malaysian Nuclear Agency
5) Dr. Zubaidah Ramli from Malaysian Palm Oil Board
6) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maheran Abdul Aziz from Universiti Putra Malaysia
7) Prof. Dr. Wickneswari Ratnam from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
8) Prof. Dr. Mohamed Hanafi Musa from Universiti Putra Malaysia
9) Dr. Chow Keng See from Malaysian Rubber Board
10) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wong Mui Yun from Universiti Putra Malaysia
11) Dr. Sharifah Shahrul Rabiah Syed Alwee from FELDA Agriculture Services Sdn Bhd.
There had been five (5) conference sessions at ICCI2013:
1) Genetic Manipulation and In Vitro Technology
2) Marker Technology and Breeding
3) Plant-microbe Interaction
4) Plant Nutrition and Physiology
5) Gene Discovery and Bioinformatics.
The conference had ended with a panel discussion on “Effective Biotechnology Intervention Strategies for Crop Improvement” with four panelists:
1) Prof. Dr. Jeremy Roberts from University of Nottingham, UK
2) Prof. Dr. Maziah Mahmood from Universiti Putra Malaysia
3) Prof. Dr. Rofina Yasmin Othman from Universiti of Malaya
4) Prof. Dr. Zoe Wilson from University of Nottingham, UK
Agriculture is one of the main sectors contributing to Malaysian economy and it is important for food security. Thus it is essential to have a sustainable agriculture practice.
Biotechnology provides indispensable tools to expedite research outputs and in unraveling complex biological phenomena. It provides many enabling tools with exciting prospect for future crop improvement.