Biotech Updates

IRRI Updates on its GM Rice Research

January 30, 2013

According to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), rice, compared with other major crops such as corn (maize) or wheat has an extraordinarily diverse genetic resource base that spreads across at least 24 different species of rice. This means that there is a very large pool of useful rice genes that breeders can use to develop new varieties of rice with improved traits. IRRI also has its share of rice breeding projects that focuses on delivering genetically modified (GM) rice varieties.

Among these are the vitamin A-fortified Golden Rice; the turbocharged C4 Rice, which is IRRI's ambitious attempt to make rice much better at photosynthesis through the C4 mechanism; and the iron-enriched rice where IRRI has added two genes to the popular rice variety IR64. One of these is a gene named "ferritin" from soybean, which will enhance iron storage in the grain.

For more information, visit or download a copy of IRRI's Rice Today at