The CIOPORA Breeding Academy 2023

The CIOPORA Breeding Academy 2023

The ciopora Breeding academY 2023

The CIOPORA Breeding Academy is an education program designed specifically for plant breeders and R&D departments of breeding companies. It provides advanced training in the latest breeding technologies, including New Breeding Techniques (NBT). Our speakers are highly qualified professionals in their fields of expertise.

Dates & Sessions

Thursday is LearnDay!

We offer two live sessions for most webinars to accommodate all time zones.
Average session duration: ca. 75 min (60 min presentation, 15 min Q&A – direct interaction with the speaker possible)

Webinar savings package

Save more than 15% and gain access to
all 3 webinars
in the CIOPORA Breeding Academy 2023 Series.

November 30

Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels

Genetic algorithm-guided allele stacking to accelerate genetic gain in breeding

9:00 AM CET or 5:00 PM CET

December 7

Prof. Dr. Rex Bernado

Practical ways to use molecular markers in asexually propagated crops

5:00 PM CET or 11:00 PM CET

December 14

Dr. Bettina Berger 

Sensor-based phenotyping to dissect complex traits in plants 

9:00 AM CET or 11:00 PM CET

Webinar series program

November 30, 2023

Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels

Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels

Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels
Professor of Plant Breeding at Geisenheim University

Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels is Professor of Plant Breeding at Geisenheim University, Germany where he leads a new institute that focusses on genetics and breeding of horticultural crops, mainly grapevine. After completing his PhD at Justus Liebig University in Giessen in 2016, he was a senior research fellow and group leader at the University of Queensland, Australia from 2017-2021. His research aims at developing and implementing genomics-assisted breeding approaches for accelerating crop improvement. Kai has worked across a range of crops incl. wheat, barley, sugarcane, rapeseed, chickpea and grapevine. He works closely with leading national and international partners across the public and private sectors. Kai has won several prestigious awards and has published his research outcomes in over 50 peer-reviewed articles.

Genetic Algorithm-guided Allele Stacking to accelerate Genetic Gain in Breeding

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Kai Voss-Fels, Geisenheim University

Participants will learn about a new cross optimisation strategy that uses evolutionary computing, genomic prediction, digital twin simulation and rapid generation advancement to rapidly develop “ultimate stacks” of genotypes, i.e. new breeding lines with maximal numbers of favourable alleles. Results from case studies and wheat and barley with extensive genotype and phenotype data are presented. The algorithms and in silico simulations predict optimal crosses that most efficiently stack complementary alleles for yield or disease resistance. Digital twins of breeding programs suggest that new lines generated from these crosses have considerably better yield or disease resistance. Offspring advancement is accelerated through “speed breeding” which allows a more rapid turnaround of generations and breedings cycles. Participants will learn about flexibility of this approach which makes it well-suited for the other applications, including breeding and genetic studies in perennial crops for various purposes.

December 7, 2023

Prof. Dr. Rex Bernardo

Prof. Dr. Rex Bernardo

Prof. Dr. Rex Bernardo
Professor and Endowed Chair in Corn Breeding and Genetics,
Director Plant Breeding Center,
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

Rex Bernardo is professor and endowed chair in maize breeding and genetics at the University of Minnesota. He obtained his undergraduate degree in the Philippines in 1984 and his Ph.D. degree in plant breeding from the University of Illinois in 1988. Dr. Bernardo pioneered the use of molecular markers for predictive breeding starting in 1994, and most of his work has focused on marker-assisted breeding. Dr. Bernardo is director of the Plant Breeding Center at Minnesota, has written two textbooks, and teaches graduate courses in plant breeding and in professional skills for scientists and a college freshman course on coffee.

Practical ways to use Molecular Markers in Asexually Propagated Crops

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Rex Bernardo, University of Minnesota

“Much has been written during the last 35 years on the use of molecular markers in plant improvement. This talk will distill what we’ve learned in the last 35 years into key principles and practices that have been found to result in improved plants cultivars (rather than in additional journal publications).”

December 14, 2023

Dr. Bettina Berger

Dr. Bettina Berger

Dr. Bettina Berger
Associate Professor, Grant-Funded Researcher

With a background in biotechnology and a PhD in molecular plant biology, A/Prof Bettina Berger used a two-year fellowship at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics to focus on the then emerging field of plant phenomics. Since 2010, A/Prof Berger has worked at the Adelaide node of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility and in 2015 became Scientific Director. She enjoys the diversity of working in a national research facility, with a whole range of different users, research questions and challenges on a daily basis. A/Prof Berger has focused on establishing protocols and methods for high-throughput screening of various plant species in controlled environments using imaging technology to help the research community take advantage of the benefits that modern phenotyping techniques have to offer.

Sensor-based Phenotyping to dissect complex Traits in Plants

Speaker: Dr. Bettina Berger, University of Adelaide

Automation and novel sensors, such as cameras and X-ray CT-scanners, enable the measurement of phenotypic traits at high-throughput, in an objective and quantitative manner. However, many traits of interest, such as abiotic stress tolerance, are complex traits with strong genotype by environment interactions. We use trait dissection to establish high-throughput phenotyping approaches suitable for forward genetic studies of individual component traits.
The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility offers researchers access to a range of phenotyping tools and expertise, both in the controlled environment and the field. This presentation will provide examples of (i) phenotyping approaches developed for component traits using different types of sensors, (ii) forward genetic studies to identify the genetic loci contributing to abiotic stress tolerance, (iii) and testing the contribution of these genetic loci to overall crop performance in the field.

Webinar user manual

For your convenience, we have compiled a Webinar User Manual to help you prepare for the webinar participation. Additional information can also be found in the Livestorm Help Center.

Download The Webinar manual

Please download and read this document carefully prior to participation in the webinar.

Our webinar platform Livestorm does not require any prior installation. Instead, it enables you to join the webinar via browser. Use one of the following for the best webinar experience:


About the CIOPORA breeding academy

In November 2020, the CIOPORA Academy education program on IP for plants was expanded with the distance learning offerings for breeders and R&D professionals: The CIOPORA BREEDING Academy.

All CIOPORA BREEDING Academy Webinars are broadcasted live in Livestorm, an online webinar platform, which allows participation for registered persons via internet browser with no prior installation. Please see our User Manual or the Livestorm Help Center for more information on the technical requirements.

Contact us

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to:
Katrin Huhnholz, the CIOPORA Academy Program Manager
Stephanie Mitzschke, Member Relations Manager/ China Consultant