Crop Biotech Update

Scientists from China Develop Rice that Can Grow in Seawater

November 2, 2017

Chinese scientists develop new rice varieties that can be planted in seawater, which can potentially provide food for 200 million people.

Scientists have long been working on rice that can grow in seawater, and finally commercially viable varieties are now being tested. Around 200 rice varieties are under testing near the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong province to see which ones perform best in salty conditions. Seawater is pumped into the fields, diluted, and then channelled into the rice paddies. The researchers projected that the rice varieties would produce 4.5 tons per hectare, but one variety already showed promising results by producing 9.3 tons per hectare.

"The test results greatly exceeded our expectations," said Liu Shiping, one of the researchers and professor of agriculture at Yangzhou University.

Read more from the Genetic Literacy Project.