The provincial government has given 6 million pesos for a biotechnological project that seeks to produce drought-tolerant crops.
The Government of the province of Santa Fe handed over the first disbursement of 6 million pesos to the Instituto de Agrobiotecnología del Litoral (IAL), a dual unit of Conicet-Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL). to launch a biotechnological project aimed at producing crops that are more tolerant to salinity and drought . This is the first of two contributions totaling 12 million pesos for the group of scientists develop the varieties of alfalfa and rice tolerant to drought and salinity.
The initiative is the first to be approved within the framework of Law 13742/2017 and belongs to a group led by Dr. Raquel Chan, internationally recognized for being the first to identify the role of the HB4 gene in plants, commonly called “the drought gene”, since it modulates responses to the water stress. Chan has a long experience in the private sector, working together with the company Bioceres.
Specifically, the aim is to develop improved varieties of rice and alfalfawith extended tolerance to salinity and to floods for the northern santafesino. In that sense, Chan said, it was already possible to obtain a rice plant with the genetic addition. “Behind will come many more plants that we hope will be more tolerant to salinity but first we have to wait for these tests,” he said.
In Santa Fe, an agricultural province, both rice and alfalfa are of productive interest, especially for the northern region where climatic conditions, with droughts and floods, are tougher than in the center and south of the provincial territory.
“ It's a long-term research project and this, without a doubt, is an initial kick to get better crops,” said their drivers.
SOURCE: Info Campo
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