Genetically Modified Rice Plant, Made Possible by CRISPR/Cas9 Technology, Produces 25% to 31% more Grain

In *All, Agricultural Systems by Ag is America

A team of scientists from Purdue University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a new type of rice plant with the help of CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The plant produces 25% to 31% more grain than the average rice plant.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology allows scientists to genetically edit specific parts of the DNA strand, changing the DNA code. Jian-Kang Zhu, a Purdue professor, focused on 13 specific genes that are associated with the plant’s tolerance of stress and the suppression of growth. Without the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, this would not have been possible. It would have taken decades and millions of plants to create this rice plant using traditional plant breeding methods.

This research and technology are extremely important and will continue to be in the future. The next step is for professor Zhu and his team to use the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to replicate the genetic editing on an elite variety of rice plant and hope for the same increased yield. This research will help farmers feed more people and guarantee the agriculture industry will be able to support the nutritional needs of a growing global population.

To learn more about the research conducted by Purdue University Professor, Jian-Kang Zhu, click here.

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