AL AIN, The Khalifa Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology researchers, in collaboration with New York University Abu Dhabi, have found new genomic information that can contribute to the development of saline agriculture in the UAE.

The researchers examined the sequences of 107 species of microalgae from different populations in different locations. The results proved identified salt-tolerant genes in microalgae.

Dr. Khaled Amiri, Director of the Khalifa Centre, said that the centre is extensively working on examining desert plants to decipher the genetic codes which have through ten thousands of years to adapt to harsh climate. These lines of research, which is pioneered by the centre can provide valuable information for developing plants that are amenable to strive in arid lands such as in the UAE as well as in the Arab Gulf regions.

He explained that the results of this research would contribute to understanding how organisms adapt to salt water, and subsequently utilising the scientific knowledge generated from these research to develop crops capable of growing in saline, dought, and heat conditions for greater- food security goals.

Dr. Amiri stated that the centre is working to harness the genomic information of salt-tolerant algae and other plants to develop of stress tolerant crops. He added, “The information found from the algae genes sheds light on the ability of microalgae adaption to salt water.”

 

Source: Emirates News Agency