There are two links below to 2 separate articles on research out of KAUST.
October 16, 2019 Published in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) The below excerpt is from the article website.
This project is the first time that the date palm genome has been studied so comprehensively. Dr. Ikram Blilou, Associate Professor of Plant Science at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) and her research team in Saudi Arabia have collected samples from date palms by the Quba mosque in Madinah, some of the most ancient date palms in the world.
“Within KAUST’s Center for Desert Agriculture Research we are studying date palms using advanced genome sequencing techniques and have begun to develop new breeding strategies to help palms grow faster and healthier as well as making them more resistant to pathogens and pests like the red palm weevil,” says Dr. Blilou.
Earlier this year, Dr. Blilou published in the scientific journal Plant Cell, findings that provide insights into how desert plants are able to thrive in hostile habitats.(KAUST)
May 5, 2020 Published in Phys.Org. The below excerpt is from the article website.
While reading an article about the destructive impacts of these infestations, KAUST Professor Boon S. Ooi recognized that his work on photonics could be relevant. “Optical fibers can efficiently detect very weak sound over several kilometers,” he explains. He led a team of researchers, in collaboration with Yousef Al-Fehaid at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, to investigate whether fiber optics could be employed as a cost-effective and noninvasive means to detect the very early munching sounds made by young larvae.Phys.org