Research associate at the sunflower department, Dr Dragana Rajković, visited John Innes Center, Norwich, UK in the period 13-17. June. The organizers of the training were John Innes Center and the COST action CA18111 PlantEd Genome editing in plants. The main goal of the training was the transformation of wheat, barley and Brassica species. The training was attended by 9 researchers from Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Estonia. The training included a series of lectures, after which the participants had opportunities for practical sessions in the laboratory.

The lectures covered following topics: history of transformation of cultivated plants, tissue culture, fundamentals of construct design, systems for transformation of cultivated plants, accelerated breeding, strategies of genetic modifications to increase the content of micronutrients in wheat grains and vitamin fortification of tomatoes using gene editing technology.

During the practical part of the training, Dr. Rajković, together with the Brassica group leader, Dr. Penny Hundleby, had the opportunity to practically experience all phases of plant transformation, from infecting plants with Agrobacterium, preparing the medium, isolating explants, to transformation, selection, regeneration and transfer of successfully transformed plants to soil.

Acquiring new skills and learning advanced methods during the training will be important for the further progress of research and development sector at the Institute, the establishment of contacts with researchers from the John Innes Center, as well as with other participants from training with the aim to establish further scientific cooperation.