Coimbatore, Jul 7: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology has sanctioned a new project on ''Macro and micro-propagation for mass multiplication in selected high neera yielding palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer L) types of different palmyrah growing regions of India'' to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) for a period of three years (2008-2011).
In a release, TNAU Horticulture Department Dean D Veeraragavathatham said the project will be operated in the Horticultural College and Research Institute here.
This species was ecologically and economically important for its tolerance to drought and salinity. Besides, it is valued for the highly nutritious neera and other edible by-products.
He said palmyrah was a cross-pollinated plant with a wide range of genetic variability and hence vegetative propagation and particularly in vitro propagation, assumes importance for mass multiplication and clonal propagation with true-to-type nature.
Dr V Ponnuswami, Professor of Horticulture will be the Principal Investigator for the scheme.