According to a news released by a Popular Science website it indicates that the new genetically modified (GM) rice variety called ‘SUSIBA2’ has been selected for the “Best of What’s New” award by the Popular Science Magazine. A team of scientists from China, Sweden and the U.S. developed the new rice variety by adding a barley gene to a conventional rice variety. It has been narrated that it emits only 1% of the methane produced varieties while increasing the yield. As per the report, generally the rice paddies are said to produce about 25 to 100 million tons of methane every year into the atmosphere. Though methane lives for a very short time in atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2), the most abundant greenhouse gas, it absorbs and radiates more heat from the earth’s surface. Therefore, a need for developing a new rice variety that reduces methane emissions was recognized.
Further, according to the scientists, by genetically modifying the conventional rice variety, the way rice plants handle the process of photosynthesis can be changed. Under this phenomenon, instead of sending carbon to the roots, it feeds to the bacteria that produce methane, and thereafter the plant directs it toward the grain and leaves and which increase the starch level and yield, as it was informed by one of the researchers to Popular Science. In this regard, the Scientists have performed field tests of the new variety in China and are currently studying how cultivation affects it. However, it is not sure that when this new rice variety will be released on commercial basis. It has been emphasized by the research workers that this variety can revolutionize the rice production process considering how severely methane accelerates climate change.