First of its kind gene bank opens at agriculture varsity

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has established a gene bank on its premises at a cost of Rs.1.2 crore. It has been named after K. Ramiah, the first Indian Paddy Specialist, and the Founder Director of Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack.
Inaugurating the state-of-the-art facility, Vice-Chancellor of the university P. Murugesa Boopathi said it was the first of its kind in any State Agricultural University in the county. The bank was meant for conservation of genetic resources. Germplasm collection of cultivars, land races and wild species would be maintained.
Sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the gene bank has been set up in the newly incepted Department of Plant Genetic Resources of the university.
Pointing out the salient features of the bank, Director of the Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics K. Thiyagarajan said it had 3,000 cubic feet of cold storage space for medium and long term storage of plant genetic resources. “It is planned to store nearly 50,000 germplasm entries apart from commercially cultivated varieties of crops, he said.”
Head of the Department of Plant Genetic Resources P. Shanmugasundaram said the gene bank would also be equipped with facilities to characterise and document germplasm resources. It was also planned to create an Internet-based database of the university's germplasm resources to promote exchange and utilisation among plant breeders and crop scientists.
Thanks: The Hindu

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