The following is an edited excerpt.
Pioneering genetic research on date palms is progressing at the Qatar University Farm, located at Rawdat Al Faras, about 60km north of Doha. Spread over an area of 54.3 hectares, the scenic farm has 19 varieties of date palms from Qatar and the rest of the Gulf region.
“Genotyping the germplasm, identifying gene-related environmental stresses, effect of treated wastewater and use of bio-pesticides are among the thrust areas,” Dr Talaat A Ahmed, associate professor of plant molecular biology, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, told Gulf Times during a visit to the farm.
A major project, supported with a National Priorities Research Programme grant from the Qatar National Research Fund, for genotyping the germplasm to distinguish between the cultivars (cultivated varieties) using DNA marker, is in its final phase.
Read the full story here: Pioneering genetic research on date palms