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Displaying items by tag: DNA Technology Laboratory

Dr. Somvong Tragoonrung, Director of Genome Institute, BIOTEC, and staff from DNA Technology Laboratory and Genome Institute were honored with the 2013 Outstanding Technologist Award, presented by the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King. He was recognized for his expertise in genomic technology and using the technology to enhance quality assurance of exported agricultural products and support plant breeding research.

 


Dr. Somvong has been instrumental in defining genomics research since before the field was recognized as a significant discipline in Thailand. In 2000, he revolutionized scientific research here by founding the DNA Technology Laboratory as the most successful service laboratory in Thailand providing affordable technology for public agencies and more than 800 Thai and foreign companies. The services have been helpful in improving the quality of agricultural products, facilitating the export of products and addressing several international trade law and barrier issues. Two most important and sensitive diagnostic services for the country are the determination of Jasmine rice purity and GMO testing for exporting food products generating a strong impacts value over 50 billion Bahts.

As the Director of Genome Institute in 2006, Dr. Somvong has developed various genomic tools to facilitate genetic improvement of top national economic crops. His expertise in next generation sequencing provides important genomic platform for breeding perennial crops like oil palm, the highest potential oil and energy crop for Thailand. He has developed new and improved oil palm varieties with high yield and oil content and drought-tolerant traits. Using biomarkers in the selection process enables his research team to shorten the breeding process of oil palm from 15 years in the conventional breeding to only 5 years. Normally, grown in the southern Thailand where humidity and rainfall are high, these elite lines have shown to thrive well in the trial performed in the northeastern part of Thailand. His research team also developed a novel somatic seed production method to efficiently propagate oil palm. One hundred thousand seedlings of these elite lines will be produced next year by Kasetsart University for large-scale validation.

 

The Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King was established in 1982 as a non-governmental organization with the aim of promoting the advancement of science and technology in Thailand. It annually presents Outstanding Scientist Awards and Outstanding Technologist Awards to recognize Thai researchers with exceptional achievements in science and technology development and to encourage active younger researchers to perform high quality research work of significant impact to society and economy.

 



Published in News & Announcements

DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and it is inherited. Therefore, by comparing DNA sequences, geneticists can infer the evolutionary history of organisms. DNA technology or technology related to nucleic acids of living organisms has become an essential part of every part of human life.

The DNA Technology Laboratory (DNA Tec) is a lab facility specializing in the application of DNA technology, which could help encourage Thailand’s competitiveness and enhance the credibility of agri/food exporters and traders.  In the present time, non-tariff barriers to trade are multiplying and have become a tough issue facing exporters.  DNA technology can therefore play an important role in generating value-added assurance for importing countries and improving the credibility of exporters and traders.  DNA Tec offers well-trained genetic experts and advanced tools to provide research and development services to both the public and private sectors.

DNA Tec uses its expertise in genetic identification and advanced tools to provide accurate DNA testing services, including qualitative and quantitative tests to determine the genetically modified seeds/plants or GMO identification tests.  These services can help traders and exporters overcome technical trade barriers impeding exports.  Available services include:

  • DNA identification service for exporters of canned tuna to certify that their products are not derived from endangered species, which is prohibited by the European Union.
  • Testing service for proving that exports are not derived from GMOs, which will restore confidence of importing partners.
  • DNA fingerprint technology-based method to examine contamination of Thai Jasmine Rice (Hom Mali Rice). DNA Tec has been appointed by the Department of Foreign Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce, to be the official agency responsible for the standard examination of Thai Jasmine Rice exports.

The operations of DNA Tec have also benefited domestic employment and the development of research personnel.  It also promotes cooperation between agencies and knowledge sharing. In addition, the presence of DNA Tec will help create a new knowledge-based business sector for this country and will encourage the private sector to invest in more DNA testing services.

DNA Tec was founded by in B.E. 2538 (1995) by the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in cooperation with Kasetsart University.  The DNA Fingerprinting Service Unit is located at Kasetsart University (Kampaengsang Campus) and is an academic facility under the supervision of the University.

A sample of contamination examination on Thai Jasmice Rice. In the test, the rice grains were boiled and placed on a slide. The cover glass was then put on top of the grains on the slide. The grains containing white dots were determined to be contaminated.



Published in Agriculture and Food
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