MALAPPURAM: The department of biotechnology at the EMEA College, Kondotty, in Malappuram is joining hands with a major global research project on genomes of the planthoppers affecting paddy cultivation. The project led by China’s Zijingang University’s Institute of Insects Studies would study the genomes of rice planthoppers in Asian countries. The EMEA College will carry out research on planthoppers in Indian paddy.
Dr K. Mashkoor, the department head, has been invited to join the project in recognition of his earlier studies and papers he published in various international research journals. He has some 20 internationally published research papers in the field of biotechnology to his credit. Zijingang professor Chuan-Xi Zhang heads the project which would examine the genome and population of the diversity of the rice brown planthopper.
“The research would shed light on the genetical transformations of various kinds of rice planthoppers and its resistance to pesticides. The genetical structure and evolution will also be examined in detail,” says Dr Mashkoor. Various species of rice planthoppers have been reported as a menace in various Asian countries and have been destroyed millions of tonnes of rice crops globally. “These insects transmit virus diseases and can cause massive damages to the paddy cultivation. This genome research would lead to findings on why the planthoppers pose recurrent threats to rice crops in many countries which is are yet to be determined despite extensive research,” he said.