The EVA Maize network 2022 annual meeting was held in Belgrade, Serbia from 2-3 June 2022, directly following the XXVth EUCARPIA Maize and Sorghum conference. Nineteen participants from eleven network partners were present in person, while nine participants from seven partners connected virtually to a hybrid meeting. Together they reviewed the work plan, preliminary results from the first evaluation trials and genotyping of more than 400 European maize accessions. Genebank partners presented the criteria by which they had selected materials for the first two sets of evaluations. The network's work plan foresees a three-part evaluation of sets of maize accessions per se as well as hybrid populations produced for a subset or each accession set. In this way, the project foresees the phenotypic and genotypic evaluation of three sets of up to 250 maize accessions until 2024. Participants were generally satisfied with the project’s progress so far and discussed the next steps, including ongoing evaluations, data management and analysis approaches.
Benefiting from the proximity of the project meeting to the EUCARPIA conference, where the EVA Maize network was also promoted, the project received several expressions of interest from potential future partners. Network partners were overall favourable to the extension of the project both in time and participation, especially given that including additional genebank partners could expand the genetic diversity of material under investigation.
The meeting report is available [here].
On 22 November 2021, 28 participants representing 18 partners of the EVA Maize Network met online for their annual project meeting. Partners received updates on the project and network activities and discussed next steps in their workplan. In 2021, evaluations of 218 maize accessions provided by five European genebanks were conducted in 12 locations across Europe, and more than 400 accessions were genotyped. Based on these preliminary data, indicating that the material is indeed offering new diversity to the breeders, subsets of accessions were selected for in depth evaluations of landraces and testcross populations in 2022. The latter are being generated in winter nurseries in Chile, using suitable testers selected by the breeding companies. In parallel, evaluations will start in spring 2022 on a second set of maize accessions which were regenerated in 2021.
Partners shared their experiences during the 2021 trials, including challenges and most interesting results, informed on ongoing activities and provided feedback on experimental and scoring protocols. A live demonstration of the EURISCO-EVA intranet showed the potential of the database to store and visualize phenotypic data generated in the project.
Partners discussed specifics of the workplan for 2022, such as the selection of a diverse set of accessions for the next multiplication and evaluation cycles, the need to match deadlines for seed distribution and necessary amendments to the experimental layout and protocols.
Despite some difficulties faced by partners due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project is progressing smoothly and an in-person project meeting was suggested to be organized adjacent to the XXVth Eucarpia Maize and Sorghum Conference in Belgrade, Serbia in early June 2022.
The full report is available here. The agenda of the meeting can be viewed here (139,0 KB)
EVA Maize annual project meeting: The first virtual project meeting, substituting for an in-person project meeting originally planned for 27-28 May 2020 in Paris, France, was held online on 27 May 2020 on MS Teams.
32 representatives from genebanks, research institutes and breeding companies met virtually in the first meeting of the newly established EVA Maize Network. This network results from an expansion and extension of the existing EVA project which was granted in December 2019 by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and aims at better utilizing maize genetic resources conserved in European genebanks through a public-private partnership.
During the meeting participants received background information on the project and genebanks provided an overview about their activities with maize genetic resources, noting that in 2020 some have faced difficulties because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. A round table discussion gave opportunity to breeding companies to voice their expectations of the network and raise questions. A proposal for a technical project plan was presented and opened for discussion.
Participants agreed that the meeting was effective in bringing public and private sector actors together to discuss joint strategies for a maize evaluation network. An important task for the next months is to secure the commitment of the network partners and attract others to ensure the widest possible geographic distribution. While a number of aspects will need to be developed and discussed further, initial work within the network is starting in 2020 with the multiplication and genotyping of a first set of maize accessions from several partner genebanks.
Meeting report (757,0 KB)