Researchers at the Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics have discovered “Eskimo genes”. This will help specialists to create frost-resistant varieties of farm crops within short periods of time.
A member of the World Academy of Sciences, Director of the Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics of Uzbekistan, Doctor of Biology, Professor Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov spoke about this and other directions of the Center’s activities:
“To date, we determine the accuracy of our findings making experiments on cotton, wheat, pomegranate and grapes.
“The Center’s staff members have for the first time in the world calculated the genetic sizes of recombination units, which are transmitted from generation to generation and elaborated a modern method of associative mapping for quick and efficient detection of cotton genes. For the first time have been characterized dozens of new fiber quality and cotton blossoming genes; and foundation has been laid to the first global gene knock-outing technology, which assumes genes’ “switching off”. As a result we have now new opportunities for the use of cotton genes and a new “Porloq” cotton variety. Starting with the year 2013, the farmers harvest rich and high quality crops of “Porloq-1”, “Porloq-2”, “Porloq-3” and “Porloq-4” varieties developed with the application of the gene knock-out method.
“This novelty arouses great interest throughout the world. This technology has been patented in Uzbekistan, USA and some other countries. More than ten varieties of cotton in the USA had been turned into gene knock-out lines in 2015 and successfully passed joint tests. Cooperation in this field keeps developing for the benefit of parties.
“Joint research has been continuing on the application of the “Gene knock-out” practices on other farm crops, including wheat, potato, pomegranate, grapes and unabi. Three to four fold potato root elongation had been achieved as a result of research, which brought about an increase in its yielding capacity. Currently we have stock of about 4-5 thousand of such potato tubers. Steps are being undertaken based on this technology to develop early-ripening and high-yielding varieties of wheat.
“To raise the content of wheat gluten cultivated in Uzbekistan, we studied the theoretical basis of innovative biotechnology. Various optional wheat genes have been cloned to find out their impact on the content of gluten and identify "positive" and "negative" ones. The seeds of gene knock-out wheat genotypes were first obtained under laboratory conditions.
“Research is also being conducted based of the application of gene knock-outing technology to create the varieties of wheat sustainable to rusting disease, one of the major problems in grain growing.
“Research is in progress at the Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics on finding out the genes determining the plants’ sustainability to harmful insects, soil salinity and creation, on this basis, new biotechnological varieties. Work is being conducted on the individual study of cotton varieties with the aim of raising the crop capacity of agricultural plants and on increasing the yield of honey from cotton plants on account of enhancing the properties of nectar-producing genes. With this objective in view the Center has for the first time ever has conducted a deep study of more than 25,000 cotton genes, which is quite an event in the modern history of national genetics.”