The Answer to the Global Food Shortage?
With severe weather conditions threatening food supplies everywhere, this new research from the Philippines is more important than ever.
Scientists at the International Rice Research Institute are honing in on a gene found in Kasalath rice from India. The gene is called Phosphorous Starvation Tolerance-1, and scientists say that they can breed the gene into other forms of rice – boosting crop yields by 20%.
As scientist, Sigrid Heuer, says, “When we look at the young seedlings, we find that they have a little bit larger root system, at a very early developmental stage. And this enables plants to explore a larger area in the soil, to forage… more phosphorous. And this gives the plant, especially under phosphorous-deficient conditions… a growth advantage.”
Better yet, the addition of the phosphorous-boosting gene means that fertilizer isn’t as important. So this research could lead to lower production costs down the road, too.