Scientists begin DNA test of plants found only in Nepal

LALITPUR: Scientists in the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) have begun the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests of plants from the flowers, leaves and peels of the plants.

Prior to this, the DNA tests of only human beings and animals were carried out.

According to Dr Ram Chandra Paudel, scientist of NAST, the DNA test in the plants would be done based on the genetic characteristics of the plants.

"This shall help preserve the endangered species in the long run. This would be stopped only if we could identify the smuggled plants and those collected unsystematically," he added.

Poudel said that the DNA tests would help assist in making policy for sustainable use of the plants. Different countries have already maintained the details of the plants along with their species in the record.

"First the plants are tested in labs and their characters found in them are cross verified with the characters of the plants found in the record. Some characters could match with many others," Dr Paudel said.

The plants with the highest number of similar characters can be categorised as the same botanical properties, he shared.

Currently, the DNA test of endangered species and other plants found only in Nepal is taking place adding that new code is given to the plants having no prior records.

The government has given its emphasis on 22 kinds of plants that are categorised as endangered.