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Home » February 2016 » Drought-resistant crops being designed

Drought-resistant crops being designed

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CAMPUS: Drought conditions can be resisted or fought by means of discovering which appropriate crop to plant in a drought-prone region, according to a researcher from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).

According to Professor M K Mathew from the Department of Membrane Studies, NCBS, TIFR, one ought to identify plants that can easily fight drought conditions. Plants like mangrove and halophydes are able to adapt to withstand salt and drought. The properties of the latter can be introduced into plants that provide staple food for most people and can easily be grown in such areas, he suggested.

He was presenting a paper an interactive workshop with students and assistant professors from various college at SJC at an event titled “Recent trends in cellular mechanism and gene expression’ hosted by the Department of Botany (Post-graduation and Research Centre).

Academics from NCBS, Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and National Academy of Science, India, Allahabad are participating in the two-day workshop.

Professor Mathew explained his experiments with gene expression in rice crops relating to drougt and salt resistance. “Drought is the major factor that determines the levels of crop productivity, and 40% of people in India have also reported the same. So this is something I really like to study about,” he said.

Around 150 delegates are attending the workshop. Among the experts making presentations were Dr Rajalakshmi Gopi, Professor and Head, Department of Human Genetics, NIMHANS, and Prof. Bharathi P Salimath, Department of Biotechnology, Mysore university.

-Pritica

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