2023 APSA Solanaciars Thank God It’s Friday - Session 1 28 April 2023 / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (GMT+7)

APSA is happy to announce a new webinar series, the 2023 APSA Solanaciars Thank God It’s Friday!

This new webinar series will consist of 4 sessions covering solanaceous crops in Asia and Pacific Region. Each session is to be held on Friday each month in April, June, September and December 2023 at 14.00 - 16.00 hrs Bangkok time (ICT/GMT+7).

For more details regarding session dates, topic and benefits, please visit

APSA Solanaciars TGIF Session 1
28 April 2023; 14:00 – 16:00 hrs (GMT+7)

Speed Breeding: 
Challenges, Prospectus and Progress in Tomato and Peppers



14.00 – 14.05

Opening of the Webinar
Dr Shreeshail Hadapad, APSA R&D Advisory Group Member

14.05 – 14.10

New variety releases or endorsements

14.10 – 14.40

Speed Breeding Scheme of Hot Pepper through Light Environment Modification
Dr. Houcheng Liu, College of Horticulture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China

14.40 – 15.00

Discussion and Q&A Session

15.00 – 15.30

Speed breeding facilities at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
Dr. Sobhan Sajja, Senior Scientist & Cluster Leader (Crop Improvement Operations Team & Rapid Generation Advancement) ICRISAT, India

15.30 – 15.50

Discussion and Q&A Session

15.50 – 16.00

Closing Remarks
Dr Shreeshail Hadapad, APSA R&D Advisory Group Member


Dr. Houcheng Liu
College of Horticulture
South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China

Dr. Houcheng Liu is a Professor, college of horticulture, South China Agricultural University. He is the principal investigator leading the Artificial Lighting Plant Factory (ALPF) Program aiming to understand the physiological and molecular basis of higher biomass and quality of vegetable cultivated in ALPF and to develop high-efficiency vegetable production technology in ALPF. Current research interests in his program include: 1) Modification of light environment and nutrient solution to accelerate vegetable breeding (Speed breeding). 2)The mechanism of function vegetable production in ALPF. 3)The mechanism of high-efficiency vegetable production in ALPF.

Speed breeding scheme of pepper due to light environments modification
Dr. Houcheng Liu, college of horticulture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China

Crop breeding for high yields and quality is an important measure to solve the food security. In conventional breeding, long generations are required. Speed breeding could accelerate flowering and fruiting of crops by providing suitable environmental conditions, to reduce generation times. This study aimed to determine a speed breeding scheme for hot peppers. Two hot pepper varieties, ‘Xiangyan 55’ (big fruit) and ‘Xiangla 712’ (small fruit), were investigated for their growth and development under different light intensities, photoperiods, and red-to-far-red ratios. Hot pepper plants could bloom at 38 days after sowing under photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) 420 µmolm-2 s -1 and 12-hour photoperiod and had seed with acceptable germination rates at 82 days after sowing. By extending the photoperiod to 20 hours, blooming could be 2-3 days early, but fruit and seed development was not significantly improved. Supplementation of far-red light (R:FR=2.1) could significantly accelerate red ripening of pepper fruit and improve seed germination rates. The modification of light environment could accelerate hot pepper growth and development, reduce breeding cycles, up to four generations per year.

Dr. Sobhan Sajja
Senior Scientist & Cluster Leader (Crop Improvement Operations Team & Rapid Generation Advancement)
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India

Dr. Sobhan Sajja is a Senior Scientist leading two units – 1. Crop Improvement Operations Team responsible for executing seed-to-seed crop improvement operations both on field and in the glasshouses for all ICRISAT crops; 2. Rapid Generation Advancement unit responsible for developing, validating, standardizing, and scaling up of speed breeding protocols for all ICRISAT crops. He is a plant breeder by training with more than 15 years of research experience in crops such as Safflower, Castor, Rice, Chickpea, and Finger millet.

Speed Breeding Facilities at ICRISAT
Dr. Sobhan Sajja, ICRISAT, India

Development of new varieties or hybrids involves homozygous parental lines. To attain homozygosity, selfing for few generations or a technique like DH needs to be used. Traditionally, selfing is being followed in many crops which takes multiple seasons to reach satisfactory levels of homozygosity. If generation interval is reduced, genetic gain can be improved directly. Speed breeding protocols involve altering light, temperature, nutrition, and agronomy of the growing environment. Photoperiod, light quality, and light intensity will greatly influence photosensitive crops and force them to flower early in certain crops. Similarly, changing temperature, reducing or increasing nutrition and moisture will influence the plants to completer generation cycle quickly. At ICRISAT, we have started working on speed breeding in 2019 and successfully developed protocols for Chickpea, Pigeonpea, Groundnut, and Pearl millet. Protocol development is in progress for Finger millet and Sorghum.


Countries & Territories Time Zone Event Time
Iowa, USA UTC -05:00 02:00 – 04:00
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria UTC +02:00 09:00 - 11:00
Kuwait, Turkey UTC +03:00 10:00 - 12:00
Iran UTC +03:30 10:30 - 12:30
Pakistan UTC +05:00 12:00 - 14:00
India, Sri Lanka UTC +05:30 12:30 – 14:30
Nepal UTC +05:45 12:45 – 13:45
Bangladesh, Krygyztan UTC +06:00 13:00 - 15:00
Myanmar UTC +06:30 13:30 - 15:30
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam UTC +07:00 14:00 - 16:00
China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong-China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore UTC +08:00 15:00 - 17:00
Japan, South Korea UTC +09:00 16:00 - 18:00
Australia (Canberra) UTC +11:00 17:00 - 19:00
New Zealand (Wellington) UTC +13:00 19:00 - 21:00