1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To promote international research collaborations and activities for increased global food security and economic growth. Provide sound technical advice and support to USAID's international agricultural research and development initiatives.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
ARS staff will work to oversee USAID activities in agricultural biothechnology, agricultural development, food aid safety. Project oversight, technical assessments, project evaluations, research project design and planning will be conducted. Agreement-generated collaborative research funds and dedicated project funds will be utilized to engage strategic partners at appropriate public and private research organizations.
3. Progress Report
This report serves to document activities and research carried out under a reimbursable agreement between ARS and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Progress in collaborative research activities identified at the end of 2009 includes: 1) Development of SNPs assay for MAS in Cocoa in Ghana, ARS-Miami (6631-21000-017): A plate reader was purchased and installed at CRIG in August. Training was provided to 3 lab technicians who in turn trained 2 new workers in the use of the machine. Since installation, the plate reader has been used to quantify 1391 cacao DNA samples. 2)Control Strategies for the Cattle Fever Tick in Kenya, ARS-KBUSLIRL (6205-32000-027 ): Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus ticks were found in one coastal location in Kenya and samples collected ticks to establish a colony at icipe. Bioassays using isolates of entomopathogenic fungi available in icipe’s Arthropod Germplasm Centre will start when the colony is thriving. 3) Development of Protein-Enriched Extruded Plantain Snacks in Ghana with ARS-ERRC-DPPR (1935-41000-065): a CSIR scientist (Ghana) visited ERRC for training and to conduct research. The proximate composition, rheological properties, and extrusion processing of the plantain and cowpea flours were determined during her visit. 4)"Complementary Strategies to Raise Wheat Yield Potential" workshop (CIMMYT): The workshop was El Batan, Mexico from November 10-13, 2009, and a book of Abstracts of the” Complementary Strategies to Raise Wheat Yield Potential” was published (http://libcatalog.cimmyt.org/InmagicGenie/opac_report.aspx?ReportName=OpacBrief&AC=QBE_QUERY&Type=opac). 5) Cereal Systems Initiatives in South Asia (CSISA), and Rice Genetics workshop (IRRI): The November 2009 6th International Rice Genetics Symposium was a four-day event that provided excellent opportunties for scientists to discuss important rice genetics and genomics issues. 6)Wild CowPea SNP Genotyping for Northern Nigeria (ARS-Griffin, UC Riverside): 96 wild cowpea accessions from 3 sources have been assembled, including 38 accessions from ARS’ Vigna collection at Griffin, Georgia, 8 accessions from recently collected materials made by cowpea taxonomist Remy Pasquet, 47 accessions from the UC Riverside cowpea germplasm originally from IITA collections, Univ of Nairobi in Kenya (24 accessions), and Univ. of Pretoria South Africa (2 accessions). 7)Effect of Fat on Vitamin A Value of Golden Rice for U.S. Population with the ARS-Children's Nutritional Research Center (CNRC) and ARS-Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), and Tufts University: Over the last few months, CNRC in Houston has grown and harvested a batch of labeled Golden Rice. HNRCA has analyzed these samples and determined the quality of enrichment and the quantity of the B-carotene in the rice. Analytical results showed that the rice B-carotene is perfectly enriched with deuterium as we expected. The quantity is calculated as enough for 3 subjects. In about 2 months, Dr. Grusak is expecting to harvest a second batch of labeled rice to provide enough rice to make doses to feed a total of 5 human volunteers as we planned.