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Showing posts from July, 2012


The country’s first gene bank for orchids opened at Hengbung of Senapati district today to conserve orchids in the country.T. Ramasami, the secretary of the science and technology ministry, opened the Centre for Orchid Gene Conservation of the eastern Himalayan region at the complex of Krishi Vigyan Kendra run by an NGO, Foundation for Environment and Economic Development Services (FEEDS), nearly 55km from Imphal. The centre is set up across 250 hectares of hilly land and includes an ultra-modern laboratory, an orchidarium and a field gene bank. Initially, it plans to collect all the orchids found in the eastern Himalayan region and then all the orchids found in India. Funded by the Union science and technology ministry, the main purpose of the centre is to conserve orchids and encourage households to cultivate orchids and also provide facilities for research. India has 1,600 recorded varieties of orchids having ornamental and medicinal value. Of these, the eastern Himalayan region h…


Scientists have sequenced the complete genome of the banana, an important crop in developing countries that provides a fruit widely enjoyed the world over and is a staple food in some of the poorest parts of the globe. The draft sequence provided “a crucial stepping-stone for genetic improvement of banana,” observed Angélique D’Hont, a French agricultural research scientist, and colleagues from a number of other countries in a paper that is being published this week in the scientific journal Nature. The sequence represented, they said, “a major advance in the quest to unravel the complex genetics of this vital crop, whose breeding is particularly challenging.” Pests and diseases were an “imminent danger” for global banana production. Having access to the entire gene repertoire of the plant held the key to identifying those responsible for disease resistance as well as ones for other important traits such as fruit quality, they added. The completion of the genome sequence was importan…