Scientists unveil full genome sequence of climate-tolerant paddy

  |  Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 |  5:20 pm

Scientists have unveiled the full genome sequence of a salinity- and flood-tolerant paddy variety for the first time in the country.

“This will open a new horizon in saline- and flood-tolerant paddy research,” Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque told a press conference in Mymensingh on Thursday.

The scientists of Bangladesh Atomic Agriculture Research Institute (BINA) and Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) jointly unveiled the genome sequence of climate-tolerant paddy variety.

Speaking at the press conference at BINA, Razzaque said two million hectares of arable land in the country is affected saline water where one crop is cultivated a year.

To make food security sustainable and meet the growing food demand in the future, he said, the government is focusing on producing two-three crops a year in climate vulnerable areas, including saline-prone land and haors.

The full genome sequence of paddy will help the invention and expansion of paddy varieties tolerant to salinity and submergence.

Paddy cultivation is being hampered in the country’s coastal areas due to recurrent flood and salinity intrusion caused by climate change.

Development of improved paddy varieties tolerant to salinity and submergence is an effective solution to this problem. To this end, a team of scientists, led by Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam of BINA, has been working for a decade.

BINA director general said Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) executive chairman Dr Shaikh Mohammad Bokhtiar, BAU vice-chancellor Prof Lutful Hassan, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) director general Shahjahan Kabir were, among others, present.