Navigation Links
A more powerful and efficient engine for rice: the C3-C4 challenge

A major international scientific effort was launched last week to develop and use a radical new approach to boost rice production and avoid potential rice shortages, or even future famine.

Scientists have been working on different aspects of the approach since the early 1990s. But new knowledge generated by the sequencing of the rice genome is allowing researchers for the first time to discuss how they might work together to completely reconfigure what's known as the engine of rice production, the plant's photosynthetic system.

"If you think of the rice plant as a car, what we were talking about is really supercharging the engine," said IRRI crop ecologist John Sheehy, convener of a workshop on C4 Rice ?Supercharging the Rice Engine, held at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on 17-21 July. "The photosynthetic process is the engine of growth for the rice plant, so, if we can improve that, then the whole plant benefits."

"If we continue with the car analogy, the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, which resulted in high-yielding semidwarf rice varieties, focused on providing a new, more compact body for the rice plant," Dr. Sheehy added. "But we have never really got under the hood and tried to improve the engine, or the photosynthetic efficiency, of the rice plant. It's going to be an enormously complex and difficult challenge, but we think that with all the new knowledge we have about the rice plant it can be done."

Many of the world's leading experts on photosynthesis attended the five-day workshop. They were warned that unless global rice production continues to increase steadily--despite fewer resources such as land, labor, and capital--millions of people could fall backward into poverty. More than 3 billion people depend on rice as their main food source each day, including most of the world's poor.

"Frankly, we have almost exhausted the traditional methods of increasing rice pr oduction, especially considering the environmental challenges we face such as climate change," IRRI Director General Robert Zeigler said. "This generation must work to assure food security not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well. We must find and develop big new ideas to help us further increase rice production while using less land, labor, and water."

To meet this important challenge, scientists at the workshop focused on enhancing the rice plant's photosynthetic efficiency, or what's known scientifically as converting rice from a C3 plant to a C4 plant, where the "C" refers to the carbon captured by photosynthesis for growth. To do this, C4 plants--such as maize--use solar energy more effectively for growth.

Dr. Sheehy compared the potential impact of successfully transforming rice from a C3 to a C4 plant as even greater than the production of the semidwarf rice plants that sparked the Green Revolution. "If we can successfully develop a C4 rice plant, the implications and potential impact will be huge--it's one of the great scientific challenges facing people working in the plant sciences."

The experts at the workshop suggested that it will probably take another three to four years to achieve the "proof-of-concept" needed before an international consortium of scientists will have assembled the tools and materials to begin constructing the prototypes of a C4 rice plant. It will be another 10?5 years after that before the first varieties are available.

"Considering the urgent rice production challenges we face, we must start now on this work--there's no time to lose," Dr. Sheehy said.


'"/>

Source:International Rice Research Institute


Related biology news :

1. New drug shows promise as powerful anticancer agent
2. Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
3. License to kill enables powerful immune attack cells in mice
4. Nanoparticles, nanoshells, nanotubes: How tiny specks may provide powerful tools against cancer
5. Leptin has powerful effect on reward center in the brain
6. Anticipation plays a powerful role in human memory, brain study finds
7. Gladstone investigators identify a new protective action for the powerful anti-HIV factor, APOBEC3G
8. Minuscule molecules pack a powerful punch
9. MetaChip provides quick, efficient toxicity screening of potential drugs
10. Microreactor efficiently regenerates cofactors for biocatalysis
11. Getting old? Slowing down? Blame inefficient mitochondria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2017)... 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of ... paper " What You Should Know About Biometrics in ... user authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, ... However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from ... authentication offers an elegant solution to the problem of ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... , Jan. 30, 2017   Invitae Corporation ... growing genetic information companies, today announced that it will ... and provide 2017 guidance on Monday, February 13, 2017, ... that day at 4:45 p.m. Eastern / 1:45 p.m. ... team will briefly review financial results, guidance, and recent ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017 Biopharm Reports has carried out ... of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). This involved ... current practices, developments, trends and end-user plans over ... and opportunities. These areas include growth in the ... and innovation requirements, hyphenated NMR techniques, main suppliers ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... patients, prevent chest wall collapses in pre-term infants with respiratory distress, and ... total of $600,000 in funding through the ninth round of the University ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... ... OHAUS Corporation ventured outside of weighing equipment with the goal of expanding the ... in mind, the line of Starter water analysis meters were introduced into the ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 17, 2017 According to ... Product (Consumables, Service), Type (Safety, Efficacy, Validation), Disease ... Discovery and Development, Disease-Risk) - Global Forecast to ... to reach USD 53.34 Billion by 2021 from ... CAGR of 13.8% during the forecast period (2016-2021). ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Brussels, Belgium (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2017 , ... ... Development (SIOTAD) framework primarily aimed at the agricultural industry. Pilot studies are about to ... phytosanitary products through IoT, Big Data and 5G innovations. The concept is expected to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: