AREA OF BIOTECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

OUR AREA

It is in charge of develop and promote biotechnology projects in response to national priorities in agro-industrial development, food security and adaptation to climate change.

FUNCTIONS

  • Conduction of research through the use and development of biotechnological tools to strengthen the agricultural sector.
  • Identification and incorporation of new biotechnological developments to solve agricultural issues.
  • Creation and improvement of biotechnological products and processes in favor of agricultural development.
  • Establishment of channels of communication among researchers, technologists, entrepreneurs, government officials and financiers.
  • Capacity building in biotechnological tools.
ÁREA-DE-DESARROLLO-BIOTECNOLOGICO

LINES OF RESEARCH

ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • Isolation, identification and characterization of microorganisms, plants and enzymes for the development of modern biological processes that lead to the protection and recovery of environmental quality.
PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • Use and development of biotechnological tools for the development of products and processes to improve the quality and/or productivity of agricultural crops.
ANIMAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • Use and development of biotechnological tools for the improvement of animal production, including feeding and health issues.
INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • Development and application of processes that allow the use of living organisms or parts of them (subcellular structures, molecules) as an alternative to support the development of the national agricultural sector.
BIOTECHNOLOGY OF PHARMACEUTICALS AND NUTRACEUTICALS
  • Identification, selection, characterization and development of applications with biomolecules to obtain pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals products.

PROJECTS IN PROGRESS

The algarrobo (Prosopis pallida) is a fabaceae, and comprises about 47 species originating mainly from the arid and semi-arid territories of the Americas. In our country, the main uses of algarrobo are the use of wood as an energy resource; leaves, branches and legumes for cattle fodder, mainly goats, and for the production of algarrobo honey (“algarrobina”) (Dostert et al., 2012). The impact of the implementation of the project will be the generation of an alternative for massive production for the reforestation of desert areas with algarrobo.

Ishpingo (Amburana cearensis) is a wood species native to Peru. Forest plantations are recognized as the basis for the manufacture of wood products for domestic or industrial use, which provide renewable energy, fiber and wood. The impact of the implementation of this project will be the generation of an alternative for the massive production, generating large amount of plants in the shortest possible time, for the reforestation with ishpingo.

Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx sp.) is a tree of the family Fabaceae, of high economic value in the timber industry. The impact of the implementation of this project will be the generation of an alternative for the propagation of quality genetic material. In addition, it will allow to program the reforestation of affected areas with plants obtained by in vitro culture of plant tissues.

Plant species and particularly wood species have been the subject of illegal trafficking for decades, drastically reducing their natural populations. This project aims to contribute to the monitoring of the illegal traffic of wood and endangered species, which will also allow us to identify which species are the most vulnerable.

The economic activity on walnut species is of vital importance in the region of Madre de Dios, about 20% -25% of its population depend directly and indirectly on it. Likewise, it generates approximately 67% of the total annual income of the families that are dedicated to this activity. However, studies on this timber species are limited. In 2004, a molecular characterization of walnut was performed using enzymatic markers and RAPDS techniques, but these types of markers are not so informative for a process of genetic improvement. In 2013, in Iran, 9 microsatellite molecular markers were generated to study the genetic diversity of walnut. The aim of this project is to use and develop molecular markers to contribute to the knowledge of the genetic diversity of walnut in Peru.

Calycophyllum spruceanum “capirona”, is a species of the family Rubiaceae, of high economic value for agroforestry systems. With the sexual propagation of this species a great phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity is observed, which makes difficult the management of the plantations. This project will contribute to: 1) propagate massively selected trees of interest for the production of quality seedlings; 2) facilitate the conservation of germplasm of the species; 3) provide a continuous supply of plants at any time of the year.

The forest species mahogany, cedar, chestnut, tornillo and quinilla; species of economic interest in the timber and food industry (in the case of chestnut), are subject to excessive forest exploitation; which has drastically reduced the number of individuals per hectare in their natural populations with the consequent genetic erosion. The project was conceived to overcome the following issues: seasonality in seed production, absence of homogeneity in the production of seedlings of these species, species very susceptible to entomological problems, high seed costs (especially in the case of mahogany), absence of genetically superior individuals established in seed stands. Somatic embryogenesis is one of the techniques that allows the massive multiplication of individuals. The development of protocols using this technique, would enable the production of seedlings that contribute to agroforestry.

Coffee is the main agricultural product of Peruvian exportation and the second in importance in terms of surface harvested. The problems of coffee cultivation are very varied, with rust being the most important disease for coffee producing countries, the effect of this disease on Coffea arabica production, the species of major commercial importance, is a big problem. In our country in 2012, a loss of 20% of the total production was estimated.

In Peru, approximately 95% of the coffee cultivated area corresponds to susceptible varieties and exposed to rust, a situation that is aggravated by inadequate agronomic management and above all by the lack of fertilization, causing very serious damage to the plantations of this crop. The present research project aims to validate 16 specific molecular markers associated with the SH3 resistance gene in coffee genotypes with different degrees of resistance and susceptibility to rust. Using these molecular markers will allow early identification and selection of coffee genotypes resistant to this disease, which can be used for rapid multiplication, as well as being incorporated into breeding programs, favoring the rapid development of new Peruvian coffee varieties resistant to the rust. This will favor all coffee producers in the different zones of Peru.

In the 1970s, INIA began a program aimed at improving native guinea pigs at the national level. Selected animals were selected for specific productive characteristics (weight, precocity, prolificacy), achieving the development of 3 new breeds: Peru, Inti, and Andina. These breeds currently have phenotypic and productive characterization information, however, so far, no molecular characterization studies have been performed. Molecular characterization in domestic populations is essential for the determination of genetic variability, identification of populations vulnerable to the loss of diversity as a product of genetic isolation and genetic improvement, detection of genetic bottlenecks, and knowledge of selection effects.

The present project will contribute to a complete characterization of guinea pig populations and an initial study of native populations to lay the groundwork in conservation programs and use as a source of genetic refreshment of improved lines and breeds.

FAO in the period 2013-2016 estimated that one-third of the total Peruvian population is vulnerable to food insecurity. However, species such as duck, sheep, goat and creole pig represent a solution to this issue, generating food and income for peasant families. In addition, they are also considered important because they represent a unique zoogenetic wealth, acquired over years of adaptation to the different ecological floors of our country.

In Peru, there is limited knowledge about the potential of the genetic diversity of its native and naturalized animal genetic resources, which is why INIA’s Division of Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, has as a field of action to study these resources. In partnership with other national and international institutions, it was considered appropriate to develop the present research work to value these species, to lay the foundations for new strategies in the field of conservation and to promote genetic improvement plans.

Papaya is a fruit with high nutritional value and great economic importance for both domestic market and exportation. However, in recent years, production levels have been declining alarmingly due to the appearance of the papaya ring spot virus (PRSV), becoming the main problem for its production. This project proposes the development of a biotechnological product with resistance to PRSV, obtained through the use of genetic engineering, as an alternative to recover the production of papaya at the national level.

The problem of pineapple cultivation in the San Martín region is due to the availability of a large quantity of vegetative material with good characteristics and phytosanitary quality, since for the sowing of a single hectare, 40,000 to 60,000 sows are required. The region has approximately 1200 hectares for pineapple cultivation, especially located between the provinces of Rioja, Lamas and Moyobamba, requiring a minimum of 48 million high-quality seedlings (productive and sanitary) to guarantee yields of their crops. The project seeks to optimize pineapple micropropagation technology, using temporary immersion bioreactors, as an alternative for mass production of the desired characteristics. This will allow the provision of plant material of high genetic and phytosanitary quality, introducing new varieties with greater value and demand in the markets; and contributing to increase the competitiveness of agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon.

Quinoa production has been intensifying because of the increasing national and international demand due to its high nutritional value. To satisfy this demand, it is necessary to obtain new varieties with greater adaptation to biotic and abiotic factors, typical of areas with higher productivity, such as the coast of Peru. As the processes of obtaining new varieties are long and costly, it is necessary to use techniques that shorten the time of obtaining, so this project seeks to develop protocols for the production of doublehaploid plants through androgenesis and gynogenesis.