• Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

BSMRAU, OMC sign MoU to detect wheat blast disease

  • Published at 10:25 pm March 10th, 2021
Blast wheat MoU
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University VC Prof Md Giashuddin Miah and OMC Healthcare (Pvt) Ltd CEO Md Mezbahul Kabir during the signing of an MoU in the presence of IGBE Director Prof Md Tofazzal Islam Courtesy

The Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE) under BSMRAU developed the technology to detect the disease quickly and more precisely

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OMC Healthcare (Pvt) Ltd to develop and distribute a biotech tool to detect blast disease in wheat.

The Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE) under BSMRAU developed the technology in order to detect the disease quickly and more precisely, said a press release on Wednesday.

The technology will allow farmers to detect blast disease in wheat by using a PCRD strip method within 30 minutes at a cost ranging Tk300 to Tk400.

BSMRAU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Giashuddin Miah and OMC’s Chief Executive Officer  Md Mezbahul Kabir signed the contract in the presence of IGBE Director Prof Md Tofazzal Islam, who developed the technology.

Prof Md Giashuddin Miah said the MoU with OMC would directly benefit the country's farmers as they would be able to detect the disease easily and cheaply.

OMC Healthcare (Pvt) Ltd CEO Mezbahul Kabir said his organisation would ensure that state-of-the-art technology in detecting the deadly blast disease in wheat was available and affordable for farmers, researchers and all concerned.

Prof Tofazzal Islam said modern technology had been used to ensure that the identification process of the disease was quicker and more precise and also accessible to common people. In order to make the technology easier and accessible, a PCRD strip that could detect the fungus without any sophisticated equipment had been developed. 

How the technology was developed

In 2016, Bangladesh, first in South Asia, was hit by a wheat blast disease epidemic which simultaneously destroyed 15,000 hectares of wheat crops in eight districts of the southern region of the country. Later it spread to 20 districts of the country.

At that point of time, a team of researchers, led by IGBE Director Dr Md Tofazzal Islam, found that the disease had been caused by a fungus called Magnaporthe Oryzae Triticum (MOT).

They identified the origin of the disease by uncovering the genome sequences of the fungi and also discovered a simple molecular method of diagnosing the disease.

On September 3, 2020, IBGE of BSMRAU developed the biotechnology, which is able to detect the fungus MOT more quickly and precisely. 

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