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-----Original Message-----
From: Biotech-Mod4
Sent: 29 June 2009 10:51
To: 'biotech-room4@mailserv.fao.org'
Subject: 76: Wide hybridization - crops

I am Harjit-Singh again.

In my earlier message (nr. 60), the use of molecular marker technology in crop improvement has been discussed where the plant genetic resources from the cultivated species have largely been used as source of desirable variation. However, molecular marker technology and other biotechnological techniques have also been used in some developing countries in utilizing novel genes for disease resistance and other important traits from the related/wild species of field crops. [Inter-specific hybridisation (wide crossing) has been used successfully in developing countries in the past, e.g. for development of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) hybrids from crosses of African and Asian rice, and is discussed in Sections 2.3 and 2.8.3 of the Background Document to this conference (http://www.fao.org/biotech/C16doc.htm) ...Moderator].

Although wild relatives of crops like wheat are a rich source of novel genes for disease resistance, only very few genes for disease resistance transferred from non-progenitor species have been commercially exploited in wheat due to substantial amount of undesirable genetic information associated with the useful alien genes (linkage drag) and yield reduction. At the Biotechnology Centre of the Punjab Agricultural University, India, we used molecular marker technology and genomic in-situ hybridization (along with Giemsa C-banding) to monitor and hasten alien introgression and reduce linkage drag as far as possible. These techniques have been quite useful in characterization of interspecific derivatives while transferring genes for resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust, Karnal bunt, powdery mildew and cereal cyst nematode from Aegilops species carrying C, U and M genomes (Dhaliwal et. al., 2002; Aghaee-Sarbarzeh et al., 2001; Harjit-Singh et al., 2000).

There is need for capacity building in the third world countries to enable them to initiate alien gene introgression from related species of their own crops. This becomes more important in those crops that are solely or largely cultivated in developing countries only.

Prof. Harjit-Singh
Telephone: 1-905-9152183
E-mail: harjit1770 (at) yahoo.com

Dhaliwal H.S., Harjit-Singh and M. William (2002). Transfer of rust resistance from Aegilops ovata into bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and molecular characterization of resistant derivatives. Euphytica 126(2): 153-159.
Aghaee-Sarbarzeh, M, Harjit-Singh and H.S. Dhaliwal (2001). A microsatellite marker linked to leaf rust resistance transferred from Aegilops triuncialis into hexaploid wheat. Plant Breeding 120(3): 259-261.
Harjit-Singh, H. Tsujimoto, P.K. Sukhija, T. Singh and H.S. Dhaliwal (2000). Transfer of resistance to wheat pathogens from Aegilops triuncialis into bread wheat. WIS (Japan): 91: 5-10.

-----Original Message-----
From: Biotech-Mod4
Sent: 29 June 2009 11:19
To: 'biotech-room4@mailserv.fao.org'
Subject: 77: Livestock - Pakistan

This is from Dr. Ahmad Ali, Assistant Professor, Department of Livestock Production, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.

Pakistan is a land of opportunities and extensive potential in biological resources. With a gigantic population of 170 million people, it offers enormous market value to exploit its biological resources to cater for ever increasing gap in supply demand of quality food products. Especially the livestock sector of Pakistan offers great potential for the exploitation of their genetic potentials through the application of latest biotechnologies in genetic, nutritional and reproductive aspects.

Pakistan possesses the world best Buffalo and Cattle milch breeds. The buffalo breed is a riverine buffalo known as Nili-Ravi which is the results of unplanned crossing of Nili and Ravi breeds, once used to be independent breeds. However, large numbers of animals of these breeds are still available in the remote areas of Punjab. There is a growing consensus in Pakistan that three breeds of buffalo need to be conserved and improved genetically to preserve the natural ecology. As a result, the project on genetic characterization of three buffalo breeds viz. Nili, Ravi and Nili-Ravi has been completed by the joint efforts of the Department of Livestock Production, and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore Pakistan. The phylogenetic result indicated that the Nili and Ravi have independent identities and Nili-Ravi samples were found to be closer to Nili than Ravi. The analysis was carried out using genomic and mitochondrial DNA. Similarly, DNA fingerprinting techniques are being applied successfully to resolve paternity confirmation and forensic cases involving animal ownership in case of legal proceedings between two parties. The first livestock forensic case in Pakistan was resolved by the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore.

In addition, lots of work on molecular characterization of livestock breeds is being carried out at present especially for traits of economic importance like milk production, growth rate, disease resistance, prion prevalence in sheep and goats of Pakistan, PRKA gene for energy efficiency in farm animals. Whole emphasis is upon identifying superior animals on the basis of molecular differences and selecting these animals for improving the genetic potential of coming generations for more milk and meat production.

Similarly, work on cytogenetic characterization of farm animals to establish standard G-Band chromosome nomenclature of farm livestock species other animals is also underway. This will be an important achievement to identify carriers of heritable chromosome abnormalities which are a common cause of infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals. Similarly work on gene cloning is also being initiated.

In addition there is an enormous scope of nutritional biotechnologies to improve inherent potential of rumen microflora for efficient degradability of low value stuff into high value energy and proteins. Similarly, the applications of biotechnology in the production of enzymes hormones and feed additives are being pursued actively by National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering through the application SSF (solid state fermentation). The production of indigenous recombinant DNA vaccines for highly prevalent livestock ailments like foot and mouth disease (FMD), Hemorrhagic septicemia (HS) and others, holds big potential however, facilities are not yet available to make it happen at present. The production of biopharmaceuticals, edible vaccines, the use of reproductive biotechnologies like embryo transfer are assuming commercial shape very recently in Pakistan and the products should be seen in the market very soon.

Dr. Ahmad Ali
Ph.D. University of Bristol England
Senior Tutor and Assistant Professor (TTS)
Department of Livestock Production
Univesity of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,
Tel: +9242 9211449/Ext 314
Cell: 0334 4266490
seniortutor (at) uvas.edu.pk

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