Biodiversity / Food / Water

November 13, 2009


Gene Identified that Allows Rice to Grow in Flood-Prone Areas

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity University / Research institute Water 

Copyright Nagoya University Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences

A joint research team comprised of the Nagoya University Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Kyushu University, the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences and Riken Plant Science Center announced on August 20, 2009, that they had succeeded in identifying the gene and molecular mechanism that enable deepwater rice to survive sudden flooding without drowning.

When deepwater rice plants are submerged in water, ethylene gas accumulates in its hollow stems. As the ethylene diffusion rate in water is one 10,000th of that in air, it physically traps ethylene gas in the stems. The deepwater rice has the genes SNORKEL1 and SNORKEL2 in its chromosomes. These two genes respond to ethylene, activating a growth signal to begin elongation. Non-deepwater varieties of rice do not have these two genes and will not elongate when submerged.

This research finding is expected to contribute to the further development of high-yielding deepwater rice varieties that can grow in regions of the world that suffer from heavy flooding.

New Rice Strain Being Developed in Japan to Cope with Global Warming (Related JFS article)
Bioscience and Biotechnology Center, Nagoya University

Posted: 2009/11/13 06:00:15 AM