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أثناء جمع العينات ٢.jpg
أثناء جمع العينات.jpg

MOEW completes first phase of ‘Date Palm Tree Identification through DNA Profiling’ project

UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) has completed the first phase of its ‘Date Palm Tree Identification through DNA Profiling’ project, through a collaboration with United Arab Emirates University. A team from the ministry has collected 165 plant samples from mother date palm trees this year, the samples were taken from MOEW’s Al Hamraniya Agricultural Research Station, Debba Experiments Station, and Al Dhaid Experiments Station.

The initial phase has three major stages, starting with collection of samples, extraction and propagation of DNA, data analysis, determination of genetic series and keying of gene identification number in the international database. Within the first phase, 30 samples were collected from Al Hamraniya Agricultural Research Station, 20 from Debba Experiments Station, and five from Al Dhaid Experiments Station. The samples were then sent to the UAE University in preparation for the project’s second phase which is extraction of DNA.
H.E. Eng. Al-Shara Assistant Undersecretary for Agricultural and Livestock Affairs at MoEW stated: “The UAE is one of the largest producers of dates in the world. It has around 160 species of dates across the UAE. In line with our commitment to protect palm trees and dates production, it is important to offer all kinds of support to preserve, identify and classify all genetic assets of date palm trees. It is also important for us to establish a reference database for all the types of palm trees found in the UAE, as well as identify and document the extent of their diversity. DNA profiling is recognized as one of the most accurate techniques to ensure genetic stability of plants. It is also one of the internationally recognized means to determine genetic kinship with all other living organisms.”
He further pointed out that the project will help increase the contribution of palm tree planting and date production to the country’s gross domestic product by improving the quality of the product and promoting its economical value.
The ‘Date Palm Tree Identification through DNA Profiling’ project is poised to make positive impacts on the country. One of these outcomes is determining the identity of original species that have successfully adapted to the country’s climate, thus enabling their preservation. The project also aims to record the genetic codes of every species as well as strengthen the competencies of the ministry’s human resources by giving them the opportunity to pursue graduate studies relevant to palm trees.
Previously, MoEW launched ‘Nakheelna’ initiative to control palm tree pests. The measures employed were according to the international standards.  The program aimed to improve product quality, upgrade databases of palm trees, and maintain UAE’s leading position in palm planting and date production.  

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