1. Agriculture World

Scientists Add Second Copy of Gene to Increase Rice Yield by 40%

Researchers discovered that by introducing a second copy of a gene from a different plant into the DNA of the plants, they could force them to overexpress OxDREBIC. It boosts rice yield.

Shivam Dwivedi
Gene Editing in Rice
Gene Editing in Rice

By giving test plants a second copy of a specific gene, a group of scientists from various Chinese institutions and a German colleague was able to increase the production of rice by 40%. The group explains their efforts to increase rice yields to fulfill rising food demands in their research that was published in the journal Science in light of the ongoing increase in the world's population.

Scientists all across the world are working to find new ways to increase food production while still using the same amount of arable land. In this new study, the researchers investigated how to increase rice yields by genetically manipulating DNA to induce specific plants to produce more rice grains.

A number of things happened many years ago that led to people farming the plants they have chosen to cultivate. However, research on these plants has revealed that not all of them are equally adept at photosynthesis.

For instance, corn is quite effective but rice is somewhat less so. As a result, researchers have worked to increase the effectiveness of rice's photosynthesis and in some cases have succeeded.

The researchers used a different strategy in this last endeavour. Kelly points out that they started by examining how rice responds to problems like inadequate nutrition. They discovered that when the plants were growing in nitrogen-deficient soil, the expression of the transcription factor OxDREBIC was elevated.

They then discovered that by introducing a second copy of a gene from a different plant into the DNA of the plants, they could force them to overexpress OxDREBIC. They discovered that plants with the second copy produced between 12 and 40% more rice than the control group.

Additionally, they discovered that using the same techniques to wheat plants increased yields by up to 10%. Scientists discovered that by improving nitrogen uptake from the soil and hastening to flower, their modified rice plants were able to produce more grain.

The researchers point out that a gene from another plant is not necessary to carry out their methodology, which could lessen opposition to its usage in commercial goods. Instead, they could carry out their procedure just as effectively using alternative gene editing methods.

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