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JU collaborated with AAPS to organize International Science TALK on Genomics & Salinity tolerance in crops

JAMMU: University of Jammu, Department of Botany, collaborated with the Asia Association of Plant Scientists (AAPS) to organize International Science TALK on "Genetics of salinity tolerance traits in crops and developing saltwater-based agricultural systems" by MARK TESTER, renowned Professor, King Abdullah, University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.

AAPS is a non-profit international Association of Plant Scientists with objectives of promoting research and education in Asian Countries.

Earlier, Dr. Sikander PAL, Botany Department, JU presented a background of AAPS to the audience hailing from over twenty-two Countries including Russia, Israel, Turkey, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and many more.

A common scientific platform for Asian Plant Scientists and its relevance in finding innovative solutions to the local and global problems of Agriculture and Food Security will be the primary objectives of AAPS, said Dr. PAL. Prof. Eviatar Nevo, President, AAPS, addressed the audience and explained the functioning of the society.

He welcomed TESTER, country representatives, and participants of the event. Speaker of Science Talk-MARK TESTER was introduced by Dr. Santosh Satbhai, IISER, Mohali, India.

Dr. Santosh made a brief presentation on the biography of MARK TESTER. MARK in his excellent presentation highlighted the various aspects of salinity and its impact on global food security.

According to him, the surge in human population in developing countries and climate change will become limiting factors affecting crop productivity, thus putting the human population to starvation and malnutrition.

Genomics will be a key player in food security in wake of the depletion of water resources and salinity. In his talk, the role of Na+ accumulation in leaf and root traits was considered important key characters of a salt-tolerant crop plant.

The genome of the quinoa plant sequenced by the TESTER lab has demonstrated high resilience to climate change and salinity tolerance.

The presentation also showed interesting facts of developing salt water-based irrigation systems for crop plants and the use of drones for crop phenotyping. Science TALK was followed by an interactive session of TESTER with students and faculty across Asian countries.

Shubham from Jammu University and Mr. Alexander from Russia interacted with MARK to learn several aspects of salinity traits for their Ph.D. research works.

The event was attended by more than 150 participants connected digitally to attend the maiden event of AAPS in collaboration with the University of Jammu.

From University, Prof. Yash Pal Sharma, Prof. Namrata Sharma, Prof. Veenu Kaul, Prog. Geeta Sumbali, Prof. Sanjana Kaul and Dr. Skarma, and Dr. Geeta participated in the event. Later, Prof. Manoj K. Dhar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jammu in his concluding remarks appreciated the presentation of MARK TESTER for being timely and addressing the larger concept of salinity tolerance with genomics in crop plants.

Prof. Dhar being plant biotechnologists of international repute also emphasized the role of scientists in creating climate-resilient crops using the latest genomics and phenomics approaches. He also urged participants and country representatives from over 22 Asian countries to collaborate with each other, with JU, and with AAPS to work in coherence to find innovative solutions to problems affecting mankind in terms of food security and agriculture.

Prof. Dhar congratulated Prof. Nevo, President AAPS, and team AAPS for organizing the international Science TALK in collaboration with the Department of Botany, University of Jammu.

He wishes to have more talks of this kind in the coming months in collaboration with AAPS.

The proceedings of the whole Science talk was conducted by Dr. Santosh, while a vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Dhiraj Vyas, Principal Scientist, IIIM, Jammu.

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