Destination-Kerala-RGCB

Thiruvananthapuram: With many parts of the country, including Kerala, under a drought spell, applied research to develop water-efficient and high-yielding crop varieties is the need of the hour, said scientists and plant biologists on the sidelines of India’s first EMBO conference on plant biology in India, held here the other day.

Jointly organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the conference themed ‘Micro and Metabolic Regulators in Plants’ focuses on understanding and exploring how cutting-edge technology can be leveraged for larger public good.

“Increased carbon dioxide and fossil fuel emissions have contributed to global warming, translating into below normal levels of rivers, lakes and groundwater and droughts even in otherwise wet areas,” said Prof. M Radhakrishna Pillai, Director, RGCB.

“Molecular genetics, which is being discussed in this conference in great detail, will help us strengthen our knowledge base in this area and help prepare our country to be self-sufficient in food crops,” Prof.  Pillai added.

Referring to the organic hybrid rice variety ‘Ezhome-4’ develop by scientists of Kerala Agricultural University that can withstand salinity, Prof. Pillai asked the scientists to come up with alternatives to beat emerging and possible challenges of the future.

The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology is one among the top specialised R&D institutions in India. The EMBO, backed by the European Union, leads biotechnology research in Europe.

More than 30 renowned scientists from all over the world are participating in the conference.