Student testimonial

Student Sidrat Abdullah - MSc Plant Biotechnology

Sidrat, a 2nd year MSc Plant Biotechnology student, heard about Wageningen University from his colleagues. “As I am Research Scientist at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute. I am working at Tuber Crops Research Centre in potato breeding. First I came to the Netherlands to participate in a training program on seed potato technology in 2009. During that time I felt keen interest to obtain a higher degree. I contacted Dr. Anja Kuipers, who encouraged me to apply for the master Plant Biotechnology.”

I am very happy to study here.

Study program

During his master, Sidrat specialized in Molecular Plant Breeding and Pathology. “As a research assistant in Bangladesh, one of my major tasks was breeding to develop a resistant potato variety against Late Blight. Late Blight (Phytophthora infestans) is a common visitor of potato in Bangladesh. The disease can be minimized through the application of chemical compounds that kill fungi, but it is costly and not eco-friendly. I need more experienced in that line, but through conventional breeding it is very difficult to do this task. So to gather knowledge in Molecular breeding, I wanted to pursue Masters in Molecular Breeding and Pathology to work on Phytophthora resistance gene (R-genes) from wild relatives. These genes can often be introgressed into cultivars to produce high levels of resistance.”

Sidrat did not regret coming to Wageningen to study Plant Biotechnology. “I am very happy to study here. Especially before coming to Wageningen University, I did not have enough experience on plant biotechnology. In addition, during lab work, I have learned lots of molecular breeding techniques and got familiar with tools. Courses like ‘Molecular Aspects of Bio Interactions’, that dealt with the host pathogen interaction at molecular level, really encouraged me to know the techniques for detection of diseases at the molecular level.”

After earning his Masters degree, Sidrat wants to continue his research in this field of science. “I want to earn a PhD so I can establish my own research institute in Bangladesh, that focuses on improving plant varieties which are useful for local farmers. My future plans are to devote myself in new breeding strategy for variety development on biotic and abiotic stress. In this way, I hope to contribute to improved rural food security in my country.”