Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Discover Gene that can Increase Rice Yield

December 4, 2013

Scientists from Japan and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have discovered a rice gene that in preliminary testing increased production by 13-36 percent in modern long-grain indica rice varieties—the world's most widely grown types of rice. The gene, known as SPIKE can improve plant architecture without altering grain quality or growth periods.

Dr. Nobuya Kobayashi of the Institute of Crop Science in Japan and key researcher of the study, said that they have developed rice with the SPIKE gene and revealed that it has higher yield when compared with an equivalent rice without the gene. The researchers did it by combining molecular identification of the gene and conventional breeding. The function of the SPIKE gene was validated by IRRI scientists.

See IRRI's news release at The journal article of the study can be accesed at