Sunday, November 23, 2003

Bio-technology institutes vital for crop improvement

The Nation

ISLAMABAD (APP)- Government has decided to establish Bio-Technology institutes with modern facilities and sophisticated equipment to embark on enhancing agriculture production.

Bio-Technology technique is vital for crop improvement as it involves the plant tissues at a micro level for transfer of genes as well as producing virus free plants. According to official sources some significant achievements have already been made and work on other aspects is in progress. These institutes will be set up at different places keeping in view their vital requirements.

The technique of production of virus free seed potatoes has been perfected and commercialized with the result that import of seed potatoes has been successfully substituted with locally produced material. The banana crop was severely damaged by Bunchy top virus and with the help of this technique virus free plants have been produced and are being supplied to farmers to revive the crop. Improved varieties of rice and vegetables having higher yields and better quality have been evolved through the use of anther (embryo) culture.

The Bit genes have been used successfully to transfer the desired characters in gram and cotton. Besides, the genetic transformation in fruits and vegetables for inducing characters like dwarfness and seedlessness are being undertaken.

[----Kindling the flame of Science in Pakistan----]

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