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Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur
Date Palm Research Center
Biotechnology & Tissue Culture
Pathology and EntomologyGreenhouses and Nursery
Biotechnology & Tissue Culture
The Biotechnology & Tissue Culture of Date Palm is one of the major objectives of the Institute. It is the core area of date palm industry in the world nowadays. The reason is the need to get as maximum as possible plants free of pests and pathogens from elite varieties. Interestingly, the price of one date palm plantlet derived from tissue culture is around 20 – 50 US dollars. Few labs in the world succeeded to produce in vitro true-to-type plantlets of Date Palm. DPRI is trying to be one of those labs in the world. It is worth to mention here that Scientists conducting research on this subject for decades without any potential success.
A very good tissue culture lab has been established in the Institute. The Lab is fully equipped and looks as a commercial lab of any advanced county. All modern facilities are available in the lab with strict control of Tissue Culture regime and environment. The Micropropagation work of selected date palm varieties is progressing very well. The world’s unique method of Inflorescence Culturing has been started in 2007 on elite varieties of District Khairpur. Furthermore, the Inflorescence technology established in this lab to produce the date palm plantlets is novel and viable for commercial purpose.
DPRI succeeded to produce plantlets after only one year of starting the technical work by “Inflorescence Technique”. Dr. Adel’s potential contribution made this all possible. DPRI has established cultures of 10 varieties in the lab for commercial production in Pakistan. These varieties are Gulistan and Dhakki from D.I.Khan area; Kurh; Dhedi; Kashoo Wari; Gajar; Karbline and Aseel from Khairpur and Zaghloul & Barhee from Egypt. These two varieties are brought by Dr. Adel.
The DPRI team was able to produce few thousand cultures of 8 different Pakistani varieties plus one Egyptian variety Zaghloul (the Best Soft variety in Egypt) and one Saudi variety Barhee (one of the best semi-dry varieties in the world). These cultures are at multiplication stage in the lab.
RAs working in Culture room
Date palm cultures during multiplication process
The observation of Date Palm plantlets by Dr Adel with RAs inside the growth room of lab at DPRI
Besides this, work on different shooting cultures of Banana, Pineapple and an ornamental plant Cordyline is in progress. Well established cultures of these species are existing inside the lab and few thousands plants are ready for transplantation in the greenhouse
Dr. Markhand and Dr. Adel extracting inflorescence of Dahkki and Gulistan varieties in D.I.Khan area.
Banana cultures during rooting stage
Production and Post-Harvest:
A set of experiments is going on to increase production of Date Palm. Various experiments have been conducted on soil analysis, fertilization and date palm fruit thinning at the experimental date palm orchard of the university during last year’s. The experiments regarding the studies on the effect of N.P.K fertilizer and of manual fruit thinning on the quality and production of fruit are in progress. These experiments are conducted to determine the optimum level of inorganic fertilizers and fruit thinning for best quality and yield.
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