THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Leading scientists from different countries have shown interest in collaborations with the city-based premier research institute Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) to enable better understanding of genetic properties of native Indian plant species and incorporate the findings to improve crop productivity.
“We are already working in a detailed manner on a number of spices and are open to collaborations with these foreign scientists who can lend us their know-how to create value additions to our native spices like ginger and pepper,” said E V Soniya, scientist, RGCB.
Molecular plant biologists from nearly 20 countries including Canada, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Spain and Australia among others participated in a recently concluded four-day conference organised here jointly by RGCB and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
Dr Takayuki Tohge, a Japanese scientist who works with Germany’s Max Planck Institute and has an interest in folk medicines, expressed his interest in expanding his research into the spices found in Kerala.
According to Jennifer Ann Harikrishna, professor, Institute Of Biological Sciences, Malaysia, global climate change and various fungal diseases adversely affect the cultivation of banana crop in the world and researchers are now looking into native species of bananas. Babu Valliyodan from University of Missouri said India has got potential for soybean cultivation. “We need more genetic sequencing research to get maximum yield,” he said.