Dr Tom Blake’s Collaboration Visit to ICBA
Dr Tom Blake is a professor in plant breeding and genetics at the Montana State University (MSU) in the United States of America. Dr Blake has been a professor of barley breeding for the past 30 years at Montana. Between 2002 and 2003, Tom held the position of Director of Germplasm at ICARDA in Aleppo in Syria; it was during his role at ICARDA that Dr Blake got to know the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and had since then built a strong relationship with the Center.
Dr Blake visited ICBA from 6-10 February, 2013, in relation to the collaboration initiative between ICBA and MSU on ‘Barley Salinity Tolerance’ research. Both institutions are exploring areas of cooperation to provide to Marginal Environments, in the Arabian Peninsula and Central Asia, productive Salinity tolerant varieties.
Commenting on his visit to ICBA, Dr. Blake said “Barley is the most saline tolerant of grain crops and a large saline tolerant variation exists for barley; ICBA is the only known research center to plant a very large sample of all the barley varieties that are known to man – over 2,700 lines of barley that were collected from all over the world in the past century… These were planted using both fresh water and saline water and this field experiment is unique in the world”.