|02-07-2009, 06:08 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Great news for poor countries
DAVIS, California (CNN) -- If every scientist hopes to make at least one important discovery in her career, then University of California-Davis professor Pamela Ronald and her colleagues may have hit the jackpot.
Ronald's team works with rice, a grain most Americans take for granted, but which is a matter of life and death to much of the world. Thanks to their efforts to breed a new, hardier variety of rice, millions of people may not go hungry.
About half the world's population eats rice as a staple. Two-thirds of the diet of subsistence farmers in India and Bangladesh is made up entirely of rice. If rice crops suffer, it can mean starvation for millions.
Normal rice dies after three days of complete flooding. Researchers know of at least one rice variety that can tolerate flooding for longer periods, but conventional breeding failed to create a strain that was acceptable to farmers.
So Ronald and her colleagues -- David Mackill, senior scientist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and Julia Bailey-Serres, professor of genetics at the University of California-Riverside -- spent the last decade working to find a rice strain that could survive flooding for longer periods.
Mackill identified a flood-resistant gene 13 years ago in a low-yielding traditional Indian rice variety. He passed along the information to Ronald, who isolated the gene, called Sub1, and introduced it into normal rice varieties, generating rice that could withstand being submerged in water for 17 days.
|02-07-2009, 08:14 PM||#2|
A verbis ad verbera
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Long Beach
This is great news for Baja. He likes to horde rice in quantities that would make an Asian food bank envious.
He can now afford to stock enough rice to feed himself for 346 yrs without having to go to the store.
|02-07-2009, 08:20 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2004