Virtual Hub
Virtual Hub


The international Demand-Led Breeding (DLB) working group with UKZN’s African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) hosts a series of webinars for the research and development community in Southern Africa. The aim is to create dialogues to strengthen plant breeding and to make the case for investing in demand-led plant breeding in Southern Africa.

Eminent academics and R&D managers from Southern Africa and internationally will be providing keynote addresses. Event participants include public and private sector plant breeders, educators, R&D managers, demand-led breeding alumni, and policy makers.

Making the Case for Investing in Demand-Led Plant Breeding in Southern Africa

A dialogue to make the case for sustainable investments in plant breeding in Southern Africa

FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER 2021: 10h00 – 13h00


Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Rufaro Madakadze, Senior Program Officer in Extension and Capacity Building, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA): Making the cases for sustainable investments in plant breeding and seed systems in Africa
  • Dr Francois Koekemoer, Field Crops Seed Development Lead Sub-Sahara Africa, Sensako, Syngenta Seeds: Issues and challenges of plant breeding in Southern Africa
  • Dr Lukeshni Chetty, General Manager, South African National Seed Organization (SANSOR): The landscape of the seed industry and supports rendered by the South African National Seed Organization
  • Dr B.M. Prasanna, Director, CGIAR Research Program MAIZE & Global Maize Program, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT): Research partnership for a food-secure Africa
  • Professor Mark Laing, University of KwaZulu-Natal, African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI): Climate change and plant breeding

CGIAR International Year of Plant Health Webinar Series

CGIAR’s IYPH 2020 events comprise a series of four webinars of global scope targeting scientists and researchers working in relevant fields. Each webinar will take an in-depth look at a different aspect of the crop supply chain, identifying areas for further research and opportunities to take current scientific innovations to scale, with the aim of boosting the long-term health of plants and the environment in low- and middle-income countries.

Previous events

Lunch & Learn


Every 3rd Thursday of a month from 13h00- 14h00

Grab your lunch and listen to seed industry specialists telling you more about the life of a seed

Preliminary Programme

18 March – Plant Breeding

15 April – Seed Production

20 May – Seed Certification

17 June – Plant Pathology

15 July – Quality Assurance (Testing)

19 August – Seed Applied Technology

16 September – Marketing & Sales

21 October – Laws Governing the Seed Industry

Please note: We will publish the registration details for each of the sessions as soon as it is available.

Open Plant Pathology is an initiative that supports and promotes the spread of all open, transparent and reproducible practices in the field of plant pathology. We advocate for an open science culture and our teams work to enhance this culture by 1) Offering Workshops in-person or via webinars, 2) Organizing Virtual Seminars for enhancing scientific exchanges, 3) Developing open sources tools and 4) Supporting Editorial Boards of journals to enhance reproducibility.

Virtual seminars

Coordinated by Dr. Benjamin Schwessinger, the Virtual Seminars (aka science webinars) are a venue for delivering scientific talks of general interest to a plant pathology audience. Anyone is welcome to contribute a seminar. If you are interested, please answer a few questions for approval.

  • The seminars are pre-approved and disseminated widely via Twitter.

  • It is live broadcast via Zoom at a date & time of the speaker’s convenience.

  • The speaker is available to answer questions from the audience after the seminar (e.g. up to 1 hour) either within the Zoom chat and/or on the OPP Slack channel for webinars.

  • The live event will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel.

  • The video file and all associated materials (slides, chat texts, codes, etc.) will be made freely accessible under the CC BY license through OSF with a DOI provided for each the materials presented.

OPP Virtual Seminar: Dr. Susann Auer

1 April 2020

Seminar presented by Dr. Susann Auer (Technische Universität Dresden) entitled “Molecular response of clubroot infected plants to the endophytic fungus Acremonium alternatum”

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