Tweaking rice genome may reduce crop’s impact on climate change

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Rice is one of the world’s. . . staple foods, but its prevalence comes with an environmental price tag. Rice paddies account for between 7 and 17 percent of the methane in the atmosphere. . . Though the gas represents a much smaller percentage of overall greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, it is about 20 times more effective at trapping infrared radiation from the sun.

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. . . [A] team of researchers based in China, Sweden and the United States has found a way to change the plant’s biology so that rice paddies release less of the greenhouse gas. Its findings were published. . . in the journal Nature.

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. . . .In the researchers’ genetically modified rice, the plant produces even more starch, storing it mostly in the stems and grains, rather than . . . the roots, said Chuanxin Sun, the lead author of the study . . .

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The addition of the gene . . . changed the amount of carbon released from the plant’s roots. . . This carbon feeds a host of soil microbes . . . Among those microbes are some that are responsible for producing the methane associated with rice cultivation.

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Read full, original post: Genetic Tweaks Reduce Pollution from Growing Rice

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