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.