Transgenic Rice

  • A group of Indian, Chinese, and Canadian scientists have developed transgenic rice that gives high yields even under severe water deficit.
  • The new rice variety has been developed by transferring a gene from a common plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, into a variety of Indian rice called samba mahsuri.
  • This gene is known to be involved in pathways controlling growth and development.
  • Arabidopsis thaliana is a flowering plant widely used for research purposes but it has no agronomic value as such.
  • Putting the thaliana gene into rice increased its height, length of the panicle that encloses the grain, efficiency of photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, and water use efficiency.
  • Under water scarce conditions created in laboratory, the transgenic rice performed better than their unmodified counterparts, according to research results published in journal Scientific Reports.
  • The content of chlorophyll which is required for plants to grow reduces under stress conditions like drought, which in turn hits the yield.
  • The transgenic rice maintained high chlorophyll content even under water-deficit and therefore performed better.
  • Seedlings of transgenic rice that perform better under drought conditions are seen growing in small plates in the lab (left).
  • They grow taller compared to non-transgenic rice plants in pots with lesser water in a greenhouse (right).

Source: Downtoearth

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