The demand for more effective and sustainable agriculture, able to cope with the exponential increase in the human population and the constraints imposed by current climate changes, is growing in the ICGEB community. Genetic engineering of plants, development of eco-friendly biofertilisers, and other agricultural biotechnologies, together with molecular studies on the resistance of plants to biotic and abiotic stress, are among the most characteristic activities of the ICGEB New Delhi Component and the Bacteriology Group in Trieste (Venturi).
Two Research Groups in Delhi, one in Trieste and one in Cape Town work to understand genes and molecules that could lead to improvement in food production and nutritional yield.
Four Groups in New Delhi are working to understand and improve adaptation of crop plants towards biotic and abiotic stresses for sustainable production of food grains. The Plant Insect Interaction Group (Nair) studies the interaction of the rice plant with its major insect pests viz the Asian rice gall midge and the Brown Planthopper, which are responsible for considerable yield loss in Asia and Africa.
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ICGEB promotes the production of new food varieties in which nutritional value is greatly enhanced, including rice and sorghum, as well as coffee and grape.