Crop Biotech Update

Drought Resistant Jojoba to Help Grow New Forests

November 2, 2017

Drought resistant jojoba could lead to growing forests on deserts, according to scientists at Osaka University in Japan.

Jojoba, which has high drought resistance and salt tolerance, is a popular source of oil used in cosmetic products. However, mass production of jojoba for agriculture has not been explored. Because of its potential economic value, researchers at the Plant Bioengineering for Bioenergy Laboratory at Osaka University explored on developing jojoba as plant genetic resource for afforestation projects.

To improve plant cloning efficiency, the researchers developed a tissue culture method involving a new combination of plant hormones. They also completed the first genetic transformation procedure to improve jojoba varieties by using Agrobacterium and developed DNA markers. Because of the positive results of the study, stable production of jojoba in deserts led to more supply of jojoba oil, which is now available for sale in Japan. It is the first step towards continuous conversion of deserts into forests through agriculture. It is expected to be adopted in unsused deserts in Egypt and at the same time provide livelihood to farmers.

Read the originala articles from Osaka University and Asian Scientist.