The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference
Breeding Vegetables for the Tropics
1. To discuss the need, significance, and benefit of improving fruits, and vegetables, crops to adapt to the tropical environments. 2. To assess the current status and challenges of research in breeding fruits and vegetables for tropics. 3. Application of modern tools including molecular biology, genomics, and plant biotechnology for crop improvement in the topics. 4. Current status of germplasm enhancement, and crop breeding for tropical environments. 5. To identify opportunities, strategies, and priorities for future research and development in breeding for tropics.
Looming threat of climate change and its effect in the human life and agriculture are the burning issues at present. Average temperature is already high in tropical region, what may be the potential effect of global warming further is the major concern at present. Adapting horticulture to future changing conditions is essential to meet the need of growing population and increasing demand for fruits, vegetables, and other horticultural products. Compared to breeding efforts in the temperate regions, what is the status of breeding including germplasm enhancement, sharing germplasms and networking at global levels in the tropics. Breeding is a long-term activity, which takes about 10 years to develop a new variety of an annual plant species, this will be much longer in perennial species. Modern breeding tools such as molecular genetics and genomics, and other biotechnological tools might be useful to shorten the duration breeding time. Discussion on these aspects may be helpful to integrate the genomic and biotechnological tools into conventional breeding of horticultural crops. In this colloquium, leading scientists in these field will update the status of selected crops grown in the tropics and introduce the need, significance, and benefit of fruits and vegetable breeding; discuss the current status and challenges of research in breeding for the tropics utilizing molecular biology, genomics, plant transformation, germplasm enhancement, and crop breeding for overall horticultural crop improvement. The discussion may stimulate the integrated breeding efforts and identify opportunities, strategies, and priorities for future progress in this area. With its tropical climate year round, Waikoloa may be the perfect place to discuss this topic.