10 Jun '11, 4am

Factbox: Building a better rice plant

June 10 (Reuters) - In the crop world, corn is a Ferrari, rice is a VW Beetle. For decades, scientists have been tweaking rice to achieve small increases in yield every year. But over the past decade or so, those increases have reached a plateau while demand for rice keeps growing. Scientists say they are limited to what they can do with rice unless they totally re-engineer its genetic structure. The main way to do this is boosting photosynthesis in rice, the scientific equivalent of bolting on a turbo-charger. A global project is trying to do just that, with the aim of genetically enhancing rice to double yields and become as productive as corn. In nature, some plants are much more efficient in the way they grow because they have a genetically superior form of photosynthesis, which involves using the Sun's energy to convert carbon dioxide sucked into the leaves and creati...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/factbox-building-better-rice-pla...

Tweets