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Middle East Biotech Center Plans to Map Date Palm Genome

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The Regional Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, plans to map the genome of the date palm, according to the online version of the regional publication Dubai City Guide.
According to the Website, the center’s board yesterday “gave the green signal” to begin feasibility studies for the center’s future projects, and chairman Abdul Rahman Abdul Khaliq said the date palm project will be a good place to start.
The project aims to use the palm’s genomic data to identify and perhaps develop methods to counter diseases that threaten the plant, according to the report.
The research will be conducted at the Date Palm Center at the United Arab Emirates’ university in Al Ain, the Web site said.
The UAE is the word’s fourth largest producer of dates, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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