RIYADH – Dr. Mohammed Al-Suweil, President of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology (KACST), has announced that a team composed of researchers from KACST and the Beijing Genome Institute have succeeded in mapping the Arabian camel genome, describing this development as an important scientific achievement.
Addressing a press conference along with Dr. Fahd Abdulrahman Balghunaim, the Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Jan Wan, head of the Beijing Genome Institute, Al-Suweil said this development will have a positive impact on the national economy because the information will lead to the development and improvement of camel progeny.
This code of hereditary information will also pave the way for developing ways to treat the diseases that affect camels, he added.
Al-Suweil pointed out that genome studies are a part of advanced scientific studies, adding that the preparation of the Arabian camel genome has been made possible by the keenness of the Agriculture Ministry to find solutions for problems facing the camel sector in the Kingdom on which very few scientific studies have been conducted.
The determination of the hereditary stock of the Arabian camel has effectively contributed to the preparation of national cadres for conducting scientific research in the field of genetic engineering, he said.
At the press conference, the minister of agriculture hailed the role of KACST in supporting agricultural research, especially the studies that contribute to the sustainable development of camels.
He said that the genetic map of camels prepared by the genome project would be of great help to his ministry as regards the conservation of camels which are a source of valuable national wealth.
The minister drew attention to the joint project between the Agriculture Ministry and Food and Agriculture Organization for the development of camels in the Kingdom and said work is under way for the preparation of national cadres which are capable of developing camel research.
The president of Beijing Genome Institute highlighted the existing friendly Saudi-Chinese relations and said that the joint project would positively contribute to the development and improvement of the health of camels. – SPA