Boost for Plant Breeding and Diagnostics Technologies Project


The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce’s Plant Breeding and Diagnostics Technologies project is set to receive a $7.2 million boost this year.
This is based on figures outlined in the 2010/2011 Estimates of Expenditure, that was tabled in the House of Representatives on March 25.
The project began in 2007 and is intended to use radiation to induce mutation and thereby develop plants with desirable characteristics, such as disease resistance, improved yields, among others.
It is funded jointly by the Government of Jamaica and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA provides grant assistance to countries that are able to undertake certain research using radiation with mutual benefits.
The two main objectives of the Plant Breeding and Diagnostics Technologies project are: to establish plant diagnostics and plant breeding facilities in Jamaica; and to establish protocols for induced mutations, selection of and advancing mutant lines or clones with farmer specific traits.
This year’s allocation is to be used to continue multiplication of yam and ginger plantlets; harden mutant lines of yam and ginger; screen and select the most tolerant mutant lines; transfer selected mutants to the Bodles Research Station; for selection and multiplication of selected lines; and to provide a fellowship for one officer to receive training at an overseas facility.

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