A training workshop on the Golden Gate Cloning technology has been organised by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) in partnership with the John Innes Centre (JIC), Norwich, UK at the Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana.
The workshop which was held from March 1 to 3, 2017, had students from WACCI PhD Plant Breeding Cohorts 8, 9 and 10; MPhil Plant Breeding students from the Department of Crop Science, technicians from the Biotechnology Centre and staff of WACCI as participants. The three-day programme comprised lectures, lab work and Golden Gate exercises, and was facilitated by Christian Rogers and Andy Breakspear, Scientific Programme Manager and Research Assistant respectively for the Engineering Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa (ENSA) project at the Oldroyd Lab, JIC.
The Golden Gate Cloning Technology was developed in 2008 with the goal of providing a framework for the flexible and rapid transfer of genes between organisms using a simple, prefabricated design strategy and has been widely used since. The Golden Gate cloning approach allows efficient and seamless assembly as well as reuse of predefined DNA elements.
Professor Eric Danquah, Director of WACCI, who opened the workshop, said that it has become important for the development of new crops in Africa to be underpinned by modern science and technology, and welcomed the collaboration with the Genetic Engineering Consortium of the JIC which offered the opportunity for WACCI students to be equipped with new knowledge and skills in modern technologies for crop improvement. He said he hoped that the time will soon come for the Golden Gate technology to be used for crop engineering by Africans in Africa.
The John Innes Centre is an independent, international Centre of excellence in Plant Science and Microbiology founded in 1910. JIC undertakes research aimed at understanding genetic and cellular basis of plants and how these can be harnessed to improve productivity in agriculture.
WACCI was established as a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell University, USA in June, 2007 to train plant breeders in Africa for African staple crops. The Centre has grown to become the preeminent Centre for PhD plant breeding education in Africa.