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Supercharged Rice

Supercharged Rice:

The Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have shown how a transcriptional regulator can boost grain yields and shorten the growth duration of rice.

  • This ‘supercharged biotech rice’ yields 40% more grain.
  • The report has pointed out that giving a Chinese rice variety a second copy of one of its own genes has boosted its yield by up to 40%.
  • When a second copy of a single gene (called OsDREB1C) is added to rice, it improves photosynthesis and nitrogen use, speeds up flowering and absorbing nitrogen more efficiently — offering larger and more abundant grains.
  • The change helps the plant absorb more fertilizer, boosts photosynthesis, and accelerates flowering, all of which could contribute to larger harvests.
  • The researchers added the same ‘native’ gene again, and not any foreign one (as in the case of BT cotton or BT soybean).
  • This method is best described as genetic modulation.
  • Gene modulation refers to the process of temporarily altering gene expression levels without making heritable changes to the underlying cellular DNA.
  • It is not a genetic modification (GM) and neither is the result of a transgenic plant, carrying elements from another donor.