Assam Plants World’s 1st Genetically Modified Rubber Plant

Assam has planted World’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant in Guwahati.

On Tuesday, the genetically modified rubber plant was planted on the outskirts of Guwahati at the Rubber Board’s Sarutari research farm.

As per reports, the plant was developed at the Kerala-based Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII).

It is expected to grow under the climatic condition of the northeast, said reports.

KN Raghavan, Chairman and Executive Director of the Rubber Board said the first of its kind rubber plant is developed exclusively for this region. It is expected to grow well under the climatic conditions of the mountainous northeastern region.

He said, “The GM rubber plant is expected to tide over the severe cold conditions during winter, which is a major factor affecting the growth of young rubber plants. Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and it is not naturally suited for the cold conditions in this part of the country.”

Raghavan further added, “MnSOD gene was taken from the rubber plant itself. Its copies were multiplied in the laboratory and reinserted into a cell of the rubber plant which was then regenerated into a full plant that is now planted in the field. There are no plant species in India that can breed with natural rubber. Therefore, there is no risk of genes flowing from the GM rubber into any other native species, a concern often raised by environmental groups against GM plants in general.”

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