Biotech Updates

A Gene Vital for Rice Seed Survival During Flooding Found

October 7, 2015

Scientists from the University of California, Riverside and the International Rice Research Institute discovered the secret to how rice seeds might be able to withstand flood. The findings are published in Nature Plants.

The researchers identified a gene that regulates the availability of sugar to a growing seed shoot, especially during flooded conditions. The process regulated by the new gene, AG1, is opposite of that regulated by SUB1A gene, which was known to enable plants to withstand complete submergence caused by seasonal flood. AG1 creates an ‘all or nothing' escape mechanism that tricks the seed into thinking that more sugar should be given to its shoot so that the seed underwater would grow rapidly and reach the surface of the water. The mechanism is applicable for water depth of 10 cm and can be turned on as soon as the seed is sown underwater.

Read more from UCR.