Abu Dhabi completes ghaf tree genome mapping project

Abu Dhabi Media Office

Abu Dhabi has completed the genome sequencing and analysis of the UAE's national tree to better understand its ability to thrive in arid conditions.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) partnered with the health-tech firm M42 to complete the ghaf tree's genome mapping project.

The ghaf, scientifically known as prosopis cineraria, plays a crucial role in stabilising desert soil and providing refuge for various desert creatures.

Each plant lives for 120 years on average. Traditionally, the tree was used to feed livestock and for its purported medicinal properties.

The findings of the latest study pave the way for nature conservation efforts, understanding draught-resistance biology and the development of resilient trees adaptable to diverse ecological conditions.

With more than 99 per cent mapping rate and 240 times more genome coverage to the existing genome reference, the study demonstrates a high-quality of data generated.

The announcement of the landmark project was made at Arab Health 2024, which runs from January 29 until February 1 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.


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