A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Posted 3:58 PM by Tevita
Hawaii varsity continues genetically modified crop research
From: The Hindu
Honolulu, May 1. (AP): Despite cultural and environmental concerns, researchers at the University of Hawaii are performing genetically modified crop research on several flowers, fruits and vegetables to develop hardier, disease-resistant plants.
Genetically modified, or transgenic, crops are plants that have been altered by the transfer of genetic material from another species. Some researchers are eager to explore their potential, but soem farmers worry that genetically modified breeds could escape the university environment and eventually overrun native varieties.
The university's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has ongoing research on pineapple, orchids, anthuriums, bananas, tomatoes, petunias and lettuce. The university is also trying to develop sugar cane that is genetically modified to produce a vaccine to protect against rotavirus, a viral infection.
The development of new transgenic crops is driven by economics, said Stephen Ferreira, an assistant specialist for plant and environmental protection sciences at the university. ``There's no question at a federal level ... more funds are being funneled or being targeted to some of these kinds of areas,'' Ferreira said. ``Years ago, you could hardly find money to do transgenic work.''
The university's research resulted in the development of a ringspot-virus resistant papaya, which has helped manage the impact of the virus.
Opponents of genetic crop research and genetically modified food contend that not enough is known about the long-term impact of such products. Many countries, including Japan, will not import transgenic papaya. Some scientists are reluctant to do their own genetically modified crop research because of such concerns, said C.Y. Hu, associate dean and associate director for research at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. ``It's actually going down because we have a lot of faculty saying there's no point in doing this,'' he said.
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