Sofia Banu raises concerns over Assam’s iconic lemon’s genetic traits. This lemon, cherished across North East India for its exceptional fragrance and taste, stands apart from other varieties, gracing every home.
Beyond Borders: The Global Appeal of Assam’s Lemon
Assam’s lemon has transcended geographical boundaries, finding its way to various corners of India and abroad, all thanks to its extraordinary aroma and taste.
Unveiling Genetic Diversity: A Fascinating Revelation
Professor Sofia Banu, in an interview with Awaz-The Voice, disclosed a groundbreaking discovery. Extensive genetic diversity analysis of 510 lemon samples from 97 locations suggests that the lemon populations in Assam could be genetically diverse.
A Call for Conservation: Safeguarding Assam’s Unique Treasure
Sofia Banu emphasizes the urgency of conserving each population as part of a comprehensive management strategy. This approach is vital in preserving the lemon’s distinct qualities and characteristics, given that hybridization is a natural tendency in citrus species. Assam lemon conservation should primarily focus on in-situ techniques, as highlighted by Sofia Begum.
The Remarkable Origin of Assam’s Lemon
The captivating story of Assam’s lemon dates back to 1956 when a chance seedling sprouted from the progeny of the ‘Chi-na-kaghi’ variety, collected from Hahchora village in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district. This serendipitous event marked the birth of Assam’s extraordinary lemon, known for its exceptional aroma and flavour.
A Landmark in Scientific Research
The dedicated efforts of Sofia Banu and her team, including Raja Ahmed and Suraiya Akhtar from the Department of Bioengineering and Technology at Gauhati University, have not gone unnoticed. Their work, featured in ‘Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution,’ has also been spotlighted by Nature India.
A Global Delight: Assam’s Lemon Reaches London
In an exciting milestone, Assam has exported approximately 600 kg of its prized lemons to London, UK. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma celebrated this achievement, marking the first consignment of a promising export plan.
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