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Bangladeshi scientists unveil full genome sequence of salinity and flood tolerant rice

Bangladeshi scientists unveil full genome sequence of salinity and flood tolerant rice

This will facilitate the invention and expansion of rice varieties, says the agriculture minister

Scientists at the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (Bina) and Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) have unveiled the full genome sequence of salinity and submergence tolerant rice for the first time.

Hailing the achievement at a press briefing at Bina in Mymensign on Thursday, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said: “This will open a new dimension in the research of salinity and submergence tolerant rice.”

The minister said two million hectares of land in the country face salinity, where only one variety of crops can be harvested annually.

“In order to make food safety sustainable and to meet the increasing demand for food in the future, we are focusing on producing two-three varieties of crops a year in the coastal and haor areas,” said Razzaque.

The complete unveiling of the genome will facilitate the invention and expansion of rice varieties tolerant to salinity and submergence, the minister added.

In this joint study of Bina and BAU, three advanced mutants in M6 generation have been identified after various experiments by applying different levels of gamma radiation and producing more than half a million mutants. The mutants obtained have better properties than the parent and can tolerate salinity of 8 dS / m and 15 days of submergence.

Bina has developed various varieties of crops through mutations. The effect of mutations in all these studies would have been to identify the improved variety by observing the desired change in crop phenotype.

But it would not have been possible to explain where in the genome the desired trait for mutation in DNA was created.

To this end, in 2019, genome sequencing of parent and selected mutant rice was completed in this study which is the first in Bangladesh.

Rice cultivation is being hampered due to sudden floods and the increasing salinity in the coastal areas of Bangladesh due to climate change.

An effective solution to this problem is to develop varieties of rice tolerant to salinity and submergence. A team of scientists led by Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam of BINA has been working for almost a decade in this regard.

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