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Crop Biotech Update

Plant Tissue Culture to Help Meet Pakistan Food Needs

March 27, 2009

A lot of research has gone into plant tissue culture technology in Pakistan over the last decade, with the result that the country today stands at a new threshold: the point where the technology can be taken from inside the laboratory to large-scale commercial farms. This requires investment and persistent efforts since there is no liaison between the scientific and farming communities. This was stated by Dr. Iqbal Choudhary, head of the University of Karachi's International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, during a media interview.

The institute's plant tissue culture and biotechnology unit is the only laboratory in Pakistan supplying micropropagated, disease-free banana plants and is one of the largest producers of orchids in the country. "The development of low-cost options in plant tissue culture offers a solution to the food crises being faced by many developing countries. It is also a means for creating employment opportunities and earning precious foreign exchange through export," he said. "We have introduced many plant species through indigenous low-cost tissue culture options and have practically shown that the technology actually works in the field too."

 For more information, contact iqbal.choudhary@iccs.edu or visit http://www.pabic.com.pk/24%20March,09%20plant%20tissue%20culture%20Dr%20Iqbal.html