Bangladesh scientists decode local jute genome

Dhaka, Aug 18 : A team of Bangladeshi scientists has successfully decoded the genome sequence of a local variety of jute plant, opening up a new vista in the development of the golden fibre.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Sunday made the announcement at a press briefing here amid cheers and desk thumping by officials, reported Xinhua.

Maksudul Alam, a professor of the University of Hawaii, who earlier decoded the genome of papaya in the US and rubber plant in Malaysia, was in the forefront in sequencing the jute genome.

"Decoding of the genome is a great success for Bangladesh," Hasina said congratulating the discoverer of the genome sequence, scientist Alam, and his team members.

With this discovery, she said jute is expected to regain its lost glory of being the golden fibre.

Experts said the discoveries would help improve the fibre length and quality, including colours and strength, and develop high yielding, saline soil- and pest-tolerant jute varieties through genetic engineering.

The group of Bangladeshi scientists has recently also found the genetic history of a fungus which causes at least 30 percent loss in Tossa (Corchorus olitorius) variety of jute.

In 2010, Bangladeshi scientists had succeeded in unveiling the genome sequencing of Tossa jute.

--IANS (Posted on 18-08-2013)

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