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Report of the 17th Sweetpotato SpeedBreeders’ and Genomics Community of Practice Meeting: Introducing Next Generation Breeders’ tools and Understanding Winning Varieties

The 17th Sweetpotato SpeedBreeders and Genomics Community of Practice (CoP) annual meeting was held at Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, from 5th to 8th June 2018; with the theme of ‘Introducing Next Generation Breeders’ Tools and Understanding Winning Varieties’. Fifty participants (14 of them female) from 14 countries attended the meeting.
During the four-day meeting, speedbreeders shared recent advances in the development and application of tools for data management and genomics assisted breeding. An interactive practical training session on how breeders can use sweetpotatobase and HIDAP for managing, analyzing, storing and sharing data was conducted. The potential of using PhotoSynQ, a tool that measures multiple photosynthetic parameters like quantum yields of photosystems (I and II) and non-photochemical quenching was introduced, which breeders can now use to select genotypes that have inherent abilities for photoprotection. The meeting also featured a field trip to the University of Nairobi, Kabete campus, where the 100 best bet genotypes for SSA were under evaluation for morphological characterization