Monday, September 3, 2012

Improved Rice variety

You know, Phosphorous is very important for the better growth of many crops. Rice too needs phosphorous for its better growth. But, the major problem in our country (India) as well as the whole world is poor availability of Phosphorous in soil. We use different fertilizers because of this.

The disadvantages of using fertilizers:
  • Decreased soil fertility on long run
  • Leeching of the fertilizer into water bodies leads to pollution.
  • Alkalinity / acidity of the soil.

We can even extend this list of disadvantages further. What’s the solution for this problem?

Scientists had found a good solution for this problem. Kasalath, a variety of rice has a gene called PSTOL1 which gives the tolerance for the plant to survive even in soil with low phosphorus.

Highlights of this gene:
  • It gets expressed in roots thereby increasing the root proliferation
  • Helps in producing roots of good length and surface area
  • This improves yield about 60%

When we introduce this gene into our plant of interest and experiment I hope we can develop tolerant varieties of various food crops, not just only the rice.

Woohoo.. We can enjoy dosas and idlies with happiness.

This was written based on my understanding over the research paper, there may be mistakes, if you find any, kindly comment it.