According to the sources, it has been reported that rice-growing techniques learned through thousands of years of trials and error are about to be turbocharged with DNA technology in a breakthrough hailed by scientists as a potential second “green revolution. Over the next few years farmers are expected to have new genome sequencing technology at their disposal, helping to offset a myriad of problems that threaten to curtail production of the grain that feeds half of humanity. Drawing on a massive bank of varieties stored in the Philippines and state-of-the-art Chinese technology, scientists recently completed the DNA sequencing of more than 3,000 of the world’s most significant types of rice. It has been reported by a group of a scientists that with the huge pool of data unlocked, the rice breeders will soon be able to produce higher-yielding varieties much more quickly and under increasingly stressful conditions.
Further, other potential new varieties being dreamed about are ones that are resistant to certain pests and diseases, or types that pack more nutrients and vitamins. This will be a big help to strengthen food security for rice eaters, as revealed by Dr Kenneth McNally, an American biochemist at the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).Since rice was first domesticated thousands of years ago, now the farmers have improved its yields through various new planting techniques. For the past century breeders have isolated traits, such as high yields and disease resistance, and then developed them through cross breeding. The latest breakthroughs in molecular genetics promise to fast-track the process, eliminating much of the mystery, according to scientists involved in the project.
In this regard, further it has been revealed that better rice varieties can now be expected to be developed and passed on to farmers’ hands in less than three years, compared with 12 without the guidance of DNA sequencing. Genome sequencing involves decoding DNA, the hereditary material of all living cells and organisms. A nonprofit research outfit founded in 1960, IRRI works with governments to develop advanced varieties of the grain. Farmers and breeders will need the new DNA tools, which scientists take pains to say is not genetic modification, because of the increasingly stressful conditions for rice growing expected in the 21st century. And fresh water, vital for growing rice, is expected to become an increasingly scarce commodity in many parts of the world. As scientists develop the tools necessary to harness the full advantages of the rice genome database, the hope is that new varieties can be developed to combat all those problems. The Scientists behind the project hope that it will lead to a second “green revolution.” Although the DNA breakthrough has generated much optimism, IRRI scientists caution it is not a magic bullet for all rice-growing problems, and believe that genetically modifying is also necessary. However, it has also warned that governments will still need to implement the right policies, such as in regards to land and water use.
Moreover, one of the key priorities of IRRI is to pack more nutrients into rice, transforming it into a tool to fight ailments linked to inadequate diets in poor countries as well as lifestyle diseases in wealthier countries. Further, it aims to understand the nutritional value and to look into the enrichment of micronutrients, according to Dr Nese Sreenivasulu, the Indian head of the IRRI’s grain quality and nutrition center .Dr Nese believes that Type-2 diabetes, which afflicts hundreds of millions of people, can be checked by breeding for particular varieties of rice which when cooked will release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly. IRRI scientists are also hoping to breed new rice varieties with a higher component of zinc, which prevents stunting and deaths from diarrhea in rice-eating Southeast Asia.