Newly-discovered Rice Gene for Drought ResistanceAugust 7, 2013
An international team of crop scientists from Japan's National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have identified a gene in rice called Deeper Rooting 1 (DRO1) that gives plants deeper roots, resulting in triple yields during droughts. Rice is highly susceptible to drought because of its shallow roots, but the new study shows that by pointing roots down instead of sideways, the DRO1 gene results in roots that are nearly twice as deep as those of standard rice varieties.
The study's lead author Yusaku Uga, a researcher from NIAS, said "If rice adapts to or avoids drought conditions using deeper roots, it can get water and nutrients from the deep soil layers."
The team crossbred IR64, a high-yielding, but short-rooted and drought-prone commercial rice variety, with a deep-rooting upland rice variety from the Philippines, called Kinandang Patong. While IR64 already contains the DRO1 gene, it cannot produce the necessary proteins that enable the gene to function effectively. The scientists then combined the high yields of IR64, with the fully-functional DRO1 gene in Kinandang Patong.
The resulting plants had roots that were able to reach more than twice as deep as those of IR64. When tested under simulated conditions of moderate drought, IR64 yields were lessened by almost 60%, while the crossbreeds suffered only a 10% yield loss. Under extreme drought, IR64 completely failed, but the new rice plants continued to produce grain – about 30% of the yield of unstressed rice plants growing in normal conditions.
According to CIAT's Manabu Ishitani, "It's a very exciting discovery. We've known for some time that deeper roots can buy farmers extra time during periods of drought, but until now we haven't known which gene in rice is responsible for root architecture, or how to control it."
The results of this study have been published in the journal Nature Genetics available at: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.2725.html (doi:10.1038/ng.2725).
The news release from CIAT can be read at: http://www.ciatnews.cgiar.org/2013/08/06/newly-discovered-rice-gene-goes-to-the-root-of-drought-resistance/.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Scientists to Use Gene Sequencing to Combat Witchweed, Other Parasitic Plants
- CGIAR Releases Guidelines on Management of Its Intellectual Assets
- Newly-discovered Rice Gene for Drought Resistance
- New Seed Variety Unveiled in Kenya
- Ghanaian Journalists Trained in Biotechnology
- Vitamin A Cassava Launched in Nigeria
- AfricaRice Sets Up Region-wide Network of Rice Hubs
- Study on Plant Mechanism Gives New Perspective on Climate Research
- Argentine Scientists Develop Virus Resistant GM Potato
- New Research Could Lead to Better-Tasting, Disease Resistant Tomatoes
- IndoBIC Hosts a Break to Fasting Event for GM Crops
- Philippine Media Visit Golden Rice Screenhouse
- Scientists Discover Gene Resistant to Leaf Rust
- Vietnam's Biosafety Process Reported
- Scientists Identify Natural Plant Compound that Can Protect Maize from Leafhoppers
- USDA GAIN Report on Agribiotechnology in Russia
- Effect of High Temperature and Pressure on Transgene Content of Biotech Maize
- Meta-analysis: Bt Maize No Effect on 26 NTO in Spain
- Plant Genome Evolution in Amsterdam
- Distance Learning Course in Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology
- WTO and Decade of China Cotton
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (March 29, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (March 22, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: