ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore organized a three-day online training on ‘Recent Advances in Chilli Crop Improvement’, as a part of Human Resource Development (HRD) program of the Institute from 7-9 September, 2022. The program was organized by Dr. K. Madhavi Reddy, Principal Scientist & in-charge Head, Division of Vegetable crops as Course Director and Dr. Ponnam Naresh and Dr. Smaranika Mishra as Co-Course Directors. On varied topics, 19 talks were delivered by 16 scientists of national and international repute, with expertise in chilli crop improvement, which was attended by 350 participants including researchers from public and private sectors, Research Fellows, students and farmers from India and abroad. The program was inaugurated by Dr. Debi Sharma, Director, ICAR-IIHR and attended by Dr. V. Sridhar, Nodal Officer, HRD, ICAR-IIHR.
During the training program, Dr. K. Madhavi Reddy, ICAR-IIHR, delivered lectures on ‘Chilli Crop Improvement-An Overview’, ‘Breeding Chilli for Virus Resistance’, ‘Use of Male Sterility Systems in Chilli Hybrid Seed Production’ and ‘Breeding Chillies for Industrial Use’. Mr. G.K. Hegde, Noble Seeds Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, delivered a talk on ‘Breeding Chillies for Varied Market Segments’; Mr Chinna Babu, Enzazaden Seeds Pvt. Ltd., Malaysia, discussed about ‘South East Asia Chilli Market & Modern Breeding Techniques in Chilli Crop Improvement’, which also included ‘Speed Breeding Technique in Chilli’; Dr Illan Paran, Institute of Plant Sciences, ARO, Israel, explained about ‘Genetic and Molecular Dissection of Fruit Color Variation in Peppers’. Dr. M. Krishna Reddy spoke on ‘Virus Diversity Affecting Chilli Crop, Phenotyping and Strategies for Exploring Host Plant Resistance’, and Dr. G.M. Sandeep Kumar on ‘Fungal Diseases Affecting Chilli, their Diversity and Screening Procedures’. Dr. Mohamed Raka, Krfrelsheikh University, Israel, shared his experiences on ‘Breeding Chilli for Insect Resistance’; Dr. Derek Berchanger and Dr. Roland Schafleitner, scientists from WVC, Taiwan, delivered talks on ‘Breeding Chilli for Phytophthora capsici Resistance’ and ‘Genebank and Genomics in Chilli’ respectively. Dr. Patchporn Suwor, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Thailand, presented a talk on ‘Breeding for Anthracnose Fruit Rot Resistance in Chilli’; Dr. A.A. Deshpande, United Genetics India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, presented on the topic ‘Breeding for Powdery Mildew Resistance in Chilli’; Dr. Ponnam Naresh, ICAR-IIHR, on ‘Rootstock Breeding for Overcoming Biotic and Abiotic Stresses Affecting Chilli’; Dr. D.C. Lakshmana Reddy, ICAR-IIHR, and Dr. Manoj Kumar Nalla, AVRDC RS, Hyderabad, explained about ‘Use of Molecular Markers in Chilli Breeding’ and ‘Breeding for Heat Tolerance in Chilli’, respectively. Dr. H.S. Yogeesha, ICAR-IIHR, explained about ‘Seed Quality and Seed Health in Chilli’. The program came to a close with general discussion, reply to queries posted in chat box and online interaction with the participants.