Prof. A. S. Raghavendra, Retired and re-employed Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) and his research group of 8 members visited the Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University in September, 2017.

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The one week visit was supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency through the Sakura Science Exchange Program and Prof. Yoshiyuki Murata at Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University was the Japanese host. Prof. Raghavendra, the team of 8 members included two Post Docs, 5 PhD students and one MSc student visited Japan. An India-Japan Joint Sakura Science Symposium was held in September 2017. The symposium covered work presentations from both the sides, with as many as 18 talks (9 each from Japan and India). The current state of art research in the area of guard cell signaling and plant stress physiology was reviewed and discussed.

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The team visited Institute of Plant Science and Resources (IPSR), located in the historic city of Kurashiki. The Institute is a part of Okayama University’s Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science. Prof. Masahiko Maekawa (Director of Institute) and Dr. Izumi Mori (Associate Professor) presented an overview of the Institute’s history, infrastructure and activities and took the team around the institute to show the field and lab facilities. A 350 year old Cycad (Cycus revoluta) located at the entrance of the Institute was a high-light of the visit. The team could visit the cities of Kyoto (Rokuon-ji Golden temple), Himeji (Himeji castle), Miyajima island (Itsukushima shrine) and Hiroshima (where the first atomic bomb was dropped).

The SAKURA Science Exchange Program is a great opportunity to get exposed to science and culture in Japan and opens up doors for further collaboration in research. The program is open to not only universities but also to colleges.

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The team had an opportunity to visit a 350 year old Cycad (Cycus revoluta) located at the entrance of the Institute was a high-light of the visit, the cities of Kyoto (Rokuon-ji Golden temple, Himeji (Himeji castle), Miyajima island (Itsukushima shrine) and Hiroshima (where the first atomic bomb was dropped).

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