Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13




























FIELDS OF EXPERTISE:plant breeding, genetic variation, GM crops

QUALIFICATIONS: MSc, University of Wageningen PhD, Friedrich Wilhelm University, Bonn


1988-2012: Full Professor

1993-1999: Founder and first Director of Plant Sciences Graduate School (EPS)

1998-2004: Science director Plant Sciences Group Wageningen UR

2004-2009: CSO- Plant Sciences Group

2005-2011: Scientific Program Director on Inventions for Sustainable Agriculture, Transforum  Agrotechnology and Green Space

Co-founder of the Sino-Dutch joint lab of Vegetable Genetics and Breeding at IVF-CAAS and of the Joint WU-CAAS PhD program in Vegetable Genomics

OUTPUT: Publications: >350 in reviewed journals, books and proceedings; Supervisior of 84 PhD’s 

Some key publications:

-       Schouten, H.; Krens, F.; Jacobsen, E. (2006). "Do cisgenic plants warrant less stringent oversight?". nature Biotechnology. 24 (7): 753

-     Zhu S.; Li Y.; Vossen J.H.; Visser R.G.F.; Jacobsen E. (2011). Functional stacking of three resistance genes againstPhytophthora infestansin potato. Transgenic Research 21:89-99.

-   Kwang-Ryong Jo, Chol-Jun Kim, Sung-Jin Kim, Tok-Yong Kim, Marjan Bergervoet, Maarten A Jongsma, Richard GF Visser, Evert Jacobsen and Jack H Vossen. ((2014). Development of late blight resistant potatoes by cisgene stacking. BMC Biotechnology 2014, 14:50 doi.org/10.1186%2F1472-6750-14-5072-6750-14-50

-       Ying Li, David E.L. Cooke, Evert Jacobsen and Theo van der Lee. Efficient multiplex simple sequence repeat genotyping of the oomycete plant pathogenPhytophthora infestans. Journal of Microbial Methods 92:316-322.

-  Sun K, Wolters AM, Vossen JH, Rouwet ME, Loonen AE, Jacobsen E, Visser RG, Bai Y. 2016. Silencing of six susceptibility genes results in potato late blight resistance. Transgenic Res. 25:731-42.

JOB-RELATED SOCIAL POSITIONS/AWARDS: Member/chairman of COGEM (1994-2010; Dutch Committee on Genetic Modification); external advisor of EFSA and member of EASAEAC (European Academies Science Advisory Council) working group for the report: Planting the Future: opportunities and challenges for using crop genetic improvement technologies for sustainable agriculture.

- MAJOR SCIENTIFIC AWARDS: Honorary Visiting ProfessorofCAAS (Chinese Academy of Agri cultural Science); International Scientific and Technology Cooperation Award of the P.R. China 2005.


Plant breeding and the need of genomics as a tool

 E Jacobsen and RGF Visser, Plant Breeding, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

 Plant breeding is an important way to fulfil the ongoing need to increase food production worldwide. High yielding varieties which are resistant to (a)biotic stress and with high quality traits are in all crops the main target. In this breeding process, two main aspects are always involved i.e,  genetic variation and selection methods. Genomics is more and more involved as a help in both. Molecular analysis of several food crops, like rice, soybean, maize and tomato showed at SNP level for potato the presence of a very high degree of variability. I will mainly focus on potato, the third most important food crop, which is vegetatively propagated and autotetraploid. Recently, in China, the status of this crop was changed from a vegetable into a staple food.

In applied potato breeding, molecular markers are more and more used to stack traits in one genotype and to introgress resistances and other traits from mainly (diploid) wild species into cultivated potato. New plant breeding techniques such as intra/cisgenesis are highly needed and applied in the USA to improve existing varieties like Russet Burbank. In addition to gene silencing, classical and gene editing based mutation breeding are successfully applied to alter, for example, starch composition into amylose free, which is very important for the potato starch industry. Resistance breeding is in our lab focused on a number of different diseases including Phytophthora infestans using amongst others cisgenesis for stacking cloned R genes from different wild species. Recently, based on comparison with whole genome sequencing, high performing and true cisgenic plants (so without containing foreign DNA), transformants from susceptible varieties like Bintje, with multiple R genes to late blight were obtained. These high performing cisgenic plants are now subject to regulators, like other New Plant Breeding Techniques, for exemption of the GM biosafety directive in the EU.

Silencing of 6 S (susceptibility) genes, like StDND1 and StPMR4, resulted in resistance to potato late blight and other diseases like powdery mildew and Botrytis cinerea. Crispr/cas9 edited S genes could  after loss of function bring the same effect. However, as observed in human genetics loss of function of genes does not always bring the expected effect. A combination of both indicated types of resistance ( R and S genes) in one plant is expected to be durable.

The most recent new development in potato breeding is F1 hybrid (true potato) seed varieties at 2x and 4x level. The help of genomics can speed up the whole process from inbreeding to selection of the combination of two inbred lines leading to a heterotic F1 hybrid variety.

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