Current status of molecular biotechnology development in Vietnam

Le Tran Binh

Institute of Biotechnology, Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology

Hanoi, Vietnam

In the agricultural biotechnology the application of molecular biology tools in breeding sciences have been started in the period upon 1995. Studies have been implemented in phenotyping and genotyping germplasms of plants and animals using molecular marker methods such as RFLP, RAPD and DNA finger printing by AFLP, SSR, STS for biodiversity studies and for linkage as well as QTL mapping. Following results have been gained in this periods: (i) Molecular markers for salinity, acidic soil tolerance of local rice cultivars; (ii) QTLs for aluminum toxicity in rice, for root morphology in up land rice and for thermosensitive genic male sterility (TGMS) for hybrid breeding and for brown plant hoper resistance using appropriate mapping populations have been identified and utilized as effective breeding tools.(iii) Molecular markers for meat quality, disease resistance, effectiveness in feed utilization in local pig breeds are targeted.

In the present phase medicinal biotechnology for development of modern diagnosis methods using PCR, RT-PCR as well as genomic and proteomic analysis for emerging infectious diseases such as HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza), SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and genomic diseases are put into the objectives of R&D. Recombinant sub-unit proteins have been produced and utilized as agents in diagnostic immunological kits for dengue fever virus, for veterinary and plant pathogenic viruses and also as preventive vaccines for hepatitis B. Characterization of mitochondrial genomic specificities and identities for ethnic groups will also contribute to understanding their epidemiologic and phylogenic characteristics. The analysis of SNP in genomes of patients and their progenies who have been exposed to chemical war agents will explain the long lasting effects of these toxic compounds on the human genome and its impacts to inherited diseases. DNA gene chips are also belonging to the prioritized field of interests.

The challenges to introduce and to strengthen BI as the constrain in R&D of molecular biotechnology will be discussed.