KU launches apple germplasm repository at Zakura campus

SRINAGAR: To identify and preserve local genotypes of apple in Kashmir valley, University of Kashmir Tuesday inaugurated apple germ plasm repository at Zakura campus here.
The vice chancellor of the university, Prof Talat Ahmad in presence of the Secretary DBT, Prof Vijay Raghavan and Chairman Apple Network Project Prof Akhilesh Kumar Tyagi, laid the foundation, a varsity spokesperson said.
He said apple germ plasm repository will comprise of 103 apple varieties) and a mapping population compizing of 200 hybrid plants will be part of the project.
A ‘Network Project on Apple Genomics’, was initiated in 2010 sponsored by DBT, GOI and run by five institutions namely University of Kashmir and University of Jammu from J&K, YSPUH&F from HP, GBPIHED from Uttarakhand and CCMB Hyderabad.
“The project aims to identify, collect and conserve elite apple germplasm available in all the three apple growing States of India including Kashmir Valley; and developing a mapping population for undertaking the detailed genetic linkage/QTL studies to lay down the foundation for future possibilities of MAS-based breeding in apple,” the spokesperson said.
The project investigator Dr Aijaz Ahmad Wani from the university’s Department of Botany has so far been able to identify 218 genotypes of apple in Kashmir Valley which includes around 150 known cultivars and more than 60 unknown genotypes.
He has also generated a mapping population of around 800 plants from a cross between two well-known cultivars of Kashmir at the department.
According to the experts these resources generated under the project as National Biological Resources of well-characterized apple germplasm/mapping population would be of immense value to various stakeholders, growers to researchers, in times to come and a service to the society, the spokesperson said.
The University of Kashmir has provided 20 Kanals of land at Zakura Campus to the Project Investigator for establishing an Apple Germplasm Repository of the elite apple germplasm of India and more importantly, a Mapping Population Resource that has been created for the first time in India.
Registrar KU, Prof. Zaffar Ahmad Reishi, Director DBT, Dr. Meenakshi Munshi and all apple project partners Dr. Ramesh Aggarwal, Dr. Manoj K. Dhar, Dr. Krishan Kumar, Dr. Aijaz Ahmad Wani and Dr. Inder Dutta Bhatt were also present on the occasion.
Prof Vijay Raghavan, Secretary DBT thanked Vice Chancellor and Registrar of the University for extending all possible support in the project.