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Crop Biotech Update

HKU Plant Scientists Identify Strategy to Enhance Rice Grain Yield

January 8, 2020
A research project led by scientists and postdoctoral fellows at the School of Biological Sciences of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Calgary (Canada) and Rothamsted Research (United Kingdom), has provided a new strategy to enhance grain yield in rice by increasing grain size and weight. The HKU research team led by Professor Chye identified the protein ACYL-COA-BINDING PROTEIN2 (OsACBP2) from rice, that when overexpressed in transgenic rice enhances grain size and weight by 10%, elevating grain yield.

The research results, published in The Plant Journal, reveals that the biomass of the OsACBP2-overexpressing transgenic rice grains exceeded the control by more than 10%. OsACBP2 binds lipids such as acyl-CoA esters, the major precursors in seed oil production. The researchers observed oil accumulated in the transgenic rice grains. OsACBP2 is promising not only in enhancing grain size and weight, but also in improving nutritional value with a 10% increase in lipid content of rice bran and whole seeds.

For more details, read the news release in The University of Hong Kong website and research article in The Plant Journal.

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