Jordanian scientist achieves breakthrough in disease-free plant cultivation

[04-10-2023 12:14 PM]

Ammon News - Maher Rawahneh, a distinguished Jordanian researcher affiliated with the University of California, Davis, has accomplished a significant scientific milestone by successfully cultivating plants that are completely free from diseases, with a particular focus on viruses.

In an exclusive interview with the Jordan News Agency (Petra), Rawahneh highlighted the potential for Jordan to emerge as a regional powerhouse in the production of virus-free plants, solidifying its position as a leading player in the Middle East.

Rawahneh's exceptional contributions to the field led to his appointment as the Director of the Agricultural Services Foundation in California. This role follows his selection from a pool of global candidates in recognition of his pioneering work in plant virology.

During his visit to Jordan, Rawahneh engaged with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector, collaborated with university leaders, and exchanged insights with experts at the National Agricultural Research Center.

The Jordanian researcher’s portfolio includes an impressive collection of 128 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in internationally renowned journals. His groundbreaking work has centered on the application of genomic techniques, originally developed for studying the human genome, to detect and combat viral diseases afflicting grapevines worldwide.

One of his most notable achievements in recent years is the development of innovative methods for virus detection, which have been meticulously compared to traditional techniques. These findings were disseminated in a pivotal publication in the international journal, "Phytopathology." Through this research, he has convincingly demonstrated the efficacy and reliability of the cutting-edge techniques he pioneered for virus detection.

What sets these novel methods apart is their exceptional precision and cost-effectiveness when compared to the conventional approaches currently employed in the inspection, registration, and certification of disease-free plants.

He also emphasized that the implementation of these state-of-the-art techniques constitutes a valuable asset for both local and international exchanges, as well as the examination of plant saplings and seeds.


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