Navigation Links
HARDY rice: less water, more food
Date:9/22/2007

Blacksburg, Va. An international team of scientists has produced a new type of rice that grows better and uses water more efficiently than other rice crops. Professor Andy Pereira at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) has been working with colleagues in India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico and The Netherlands to identify, characterize and make use of a gene known as HARDY that improves key features of this important grain crop. The research, which was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that HARDY contributes to more efficient water use in rice, a primary source of food for more than half of the worlds population. *

Rice (Oryza sativa) is a water guzzler when compared to other crops. It typically uses up to three times more water than other food crops such as maize or wheat and consumes around 30 percent of the fresh water used for crops worldwide. In conditions where water is scarce, it is important to have crops that can efficiently generate biomass (plant tissue) using limited amounts of water. HARDY rice shows a significant increase in biomass under both drought and non-drought conditions. The researchers found that the biomass of HARDY rice increased by around 50 percent under conditions of water deprivation (drought) compared to the unmodified version of the same type of rice.

Dr. Andy Pereira, professor at VBI, stated: This transdisciplinary research project involved the study of two plants. First we used a powerful gain-of-function screening technique to look at a large number of Arabidopsis plants that might have features favorable to water and drought resistance. We were able to identify the HARDY mutant due to its considerable reluctance to be pulled from the soil and its smaller, darker green leaves. Molecular and physiological characterization showed that the improved water usage efficiency was linked to the HARDY gene.

Dr. Aarati Karaba, who worked on the project as a graduate student jointly at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, and at Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands, commented: The next step was to introduce the HARDY gene into rice and examine the features arising from this transformation. In rice, HARDY seems to work in a slightly different way than Arabidopsis but it still leads to improved water-use efficiency and higher biomass. Further studies showed that HARDY significantly enhances the capacity of rice to photosynthesize while at the same time reducing water loss from the crop.

Dr. Andy Pereira, added: DNA microarray analysis allowed us to look at gene expression patterns regulated by HARDY. We specifically focused on genes that have gene ontology (GO) terms, namely genes that have been assigned by the scientific community to specific biological processes or functions. Using this approach we were able to identify clusters of known genes regulated by HARDY whose levels changed under conditions of plant water deprivation. We also saw distinct changes of gene clusters linked to the metabolism of key proteins and carbohydrates, which probably explains some of the feature differences we have detected in Arabidopsis and rice.

The scientists have been able to track down these improvements in water-use efficiency to a specific type of molecule known as AP2/ERF-like transcription factor. Transcription factors are proteins that bind to DNA and control gene expression and the HARDY gene encodes a protein that belongs to a specific class of AP2/ERF-like transcription factors. Shital Dixit, Graduate student at Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands, commented: At this point in time, we do not know the exact function of this transcription factor although we suspect that it impacts maturation processes linked to tissue desiccation. More work remains to be done to elucidate the precise function of this protein as well as the processes on which it has a major impact. What is clear is that HARDY rice offers the exciting prospect of improved water-use efficiency and drought resistance in rice and perhaps other grain or seed crops. This should contribute in a sustainable way to maintaining high crop yields under conditions of limited water availability.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barry Whyte
whyte@vbi.vt.edu
540-231-1767
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How nice, brown rice: Study shows rice bran lowers blood pressure in rats
2. A more powerful and efficient engine for rice: the C3-C4 challenge
3. Fish extinctions alter critical nutrients in water, study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Paris Police Prefecture and ... ensure the safety of people and operations in several locations ... Teleste, an international technology group specialised in broadband ... its video security solution will be utilised by ... across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for the ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... Microbial genomics leader uBiome is ... has been made to Dr. Renato Polimanti of Yale University School of Medicine, ... microbiome. Grant proposals have been vetted by the company’s scientific review committee. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... In ... cervical and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be traveling to ... the AxioMed disc in Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich to discuss the benefits of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016 Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... announced the submission of a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to ... candidate to Avastin ® (bevacizumab). The companies believe this ... EMA. "The submission of ABP 215 to ... expand our oncology portfolio," said Sean E. Harper , ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ACEA Biosciences, Inc. ... Phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 at the World Conference on Lung Cancer 2016, ... an update on the phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 in patients with advanced ...
Breaking Biology Technology: