The training programme, “Genome Editing of Crops: Methods and Applications” sponsored by the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) under Centre for Advanced Agricultural Science and Technology (CAAST) on Genomics was jointly organized by ICAR-National Institute for Plant Biotechnology (NIPB) and Division of Plant Physiology, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi from 27th December 2019 to 8th of January, 2020. For this training programme, total 130 applications were received from post graduate students across the country. After shortlisting, 32 students from 23 different universities representing 17 states were invited to attend the training programme. The list of the selected candidates included 3 M.Sc. students, 1 M.Tech. and 28 Ph.D students.

The lectures in the training programme were delivered by 4 faculty members of ICAR-NIPB, 7 from ICAR-IARI and 5 eminent guest speakers from institutes like ICGEB, CSIR-IGIB, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), National Dairy Research Institute & NIPGR. Apart from lectures, the training programme included extensive practical sessions spanned over 10 days to provide hands-on training to the trainees. The practical sessions included designing and in vitro validation of guideRNA, construction of genome editing vectors and multiplexing sgRNA constructs, validations of constructs by plasmid isolation and PCR, genome editing by both protoplast and Agrobacterium mediated transformation and basic techniques of DNA and RNA isolation. The practical also included validation of genome editing by T7 nuclease and transient assay by inoculation, real time-qPCR for detection of virus in genome-edited lines and DNA & RNA isolation from CRISPR-cas9 lines and subsequent identification of edited mutant plants by ‘Heteroduplex assay’ and ‘real time-qPCR’ for detection of virus in genome-edited lines. The participating students also presented their current research work and future work plan underscoring benefits of the training on methods of genome editing.

The training ended with distribution of certificates to the trainees and vote of thanks to the Director, ICAR-NIPB; Director, Joint Director (Res.), Joint Director (Edu.) and Associate Dean, ICAR-IARI, and all those involved in arranging various logistics.