A team of scientists has managed to create a new type of genetically modified rice in order to help the environment. The researchers collected a specific gene from barley and transferred it into rice.
More than half of the world’s population relies on rice as their major food, but to grow rice also means to release up to 100 million tons of methane into the atmosphere annually, which affect our planet due to the green-house gas emissions that are created.
Due to the fact that the human population is always increasing, the need for more producing more food can have damaging effects on our planet, increasing the methane emissions. Scientists wanted to see if they can figure out a solution for this issue so they tried to see what it would happen if they added a barley gene to the rice plant. According to them, they managed to create a new type genetically modified rice that is very starchy and productive but emits less methane gas.
Chuanxin Sun, biologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and one of the lead researchers who conducted the study, explained that traditional methods of cultivating rice accelerates the methane gas emissions which leads to increasing temperatures. Sun said that this genetically modified rice can slow down the warming temperatures because there are less methane emissions when growing it.
The researchers explained that the bacteria that produce methane thrive on the sugars that the rice roots secrete in the soil that has no oxygen when the rice fields are flooded. The rice plant then passes on the methane gas from the soil it grows is into the atmosphere. The methane gas then traps the heat which contributes to the global greenhouse emissions, which are more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, as per the researchers working at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The scientists detailed their study’s findings in the journal Nature.
The team of scientists managed to extract a gene from barley and transfer it into the rice plant. They hoped that this would produce rice crops with a bigger grain and a thinner root. The researchers compared the genetically modified rice and traditional Nipponbar rice by growing them in two laboratory fields. They observed how much methane gas both crops emitted and found that the genetically modified rice produced far less than regular one.
Image Source: thelibertybeacon