GMO rice can deliver double blow to global warming & hunger, scientists say



Genetically engineered rice that borrows a single gene from barley may dramatically reduce methane emissions in the atmosphere, at the same time yielding up to 50 percent more grain to feed the world’s population, a new study has shown.

Rice, being the world’s second most important grain crop following only maize based on production volume, is also one the largest sources of methane emissions. As the world population has grown, so has the need to cultivate more rice. Currently rice paddies are responsible for up to 17 percent of atmospheric methane – a natural byproduct of anaerobic breakdown of organic matter in flooded rice fields.

“Warm waterlogged soil and exuded nutrients from rice roots provide ideal conditions for methanogenesis in paddies with annual methane emissions of 25–100-million tonnes,” the study says.

In order to reduce the greenhouse effect buildup and offer more food to the world, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has engineered a “high-starch low-methane-emission rice” capable of producing a strong yield in an ecologically friendlier manner, by making the roots smaller and grain bigger.

“It is expected that rice cultivation will need to increase” to feed the world’s growing population, wetlands microbe biologist Paul Bodelier, told LA Times. “Unless something changes, that will also mean increased methane emissions. Any reduction in this area is quite important.”

That is why biologist Chuanxin Sun, the author of the new study published in the Nature Journal, decided to add a single transcription factor gene from barley into the rice strain. The new GMO rice plants were then planted alongside conventionally grown Nipponbare rice in two small test fields in China.

The data measured by Sun’s team in the summer and fall focused on individual plant methane emission and starch levels the plants allocated to their seeds, stems and roots. Measurements were also taken on methane-producing bacteria around the plant roots.

See also: Bangladesh Has Cut Hunger Rate By 50%, Leading Rest Of The World

The three-year field trials showed that, as predicted, the GM plants grew starchier grains than their traditional counterparts, and smaller root system with less methane-producing bacteria around it.

The methane emission of the modified plants was measured at less than 10 percent of the conventional rice, and down to 0.3 percent depending on the season. The modified strain also produced much more yield with dry weight of the rice grains increasing from 16 to 24 grams per plant.

While the initial measures might seem tremendous, scientists believe larger-scale trials are needed to draw more conclusive results and see how the controlled experiment works out in the field.

Moreover there are still biological and environmental concerns regarding the possibility of genetically engineered strain spreading in the wild, as GM rice has not been approved for commercial cultivations anywhere in the world.

Scientists however hope they could achieve similar results using traditional breeding methods and get a new strain of rice to the market in the next ten years.

“Right now of course it’s a GMO issue, and we cannot deliver this variety directly to farmers,” Sun told MIT’s Technology Review. “We have to use traditional breeding methods and breed the new, society-acceptable variety for farmers.”


Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

More cops have died from 9/11-related illnesses

More cops have died from Ground Zero illness than were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11 More police officers have now died as...

This Is How North Korea Could kill 90 Percent of Americans

“The mainstream media, and some officials who should know better, continue to allege North Korea does not yet have capability to deliver on its...

The Science Behind Anti-Depressants May Be Completely ‘Backwards’

Anti-depressants are the most commonly-prescribed medication in the U.S., with one in 10 Americans currently taking pills like Zoloft and Lexapro to treat depression....

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...


Ancient Paintings of UFO’s from 200 to 15.000 years ago

Ancient Paintings of UFO's Over the past 15,000 years UFOs have been clearly depicted in paintings from all around the world. This video features some...

Out of the Blue

OUT OF THE BLUE is widely considered one of the best documentary films ever made about UFOs and was directed by celebrated filmmakers James...

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

More cops have died from 9/11-related illnesses

More cops have died from Ground Zero illness than were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11 More police officers have now died as...

On the Brink of Nuclear War- WW3 May Already Be Here

It may actually be true that all the actions which took place until today will lead to a new world war: WWIII. A great conflict has...

Stratospheric Aerosols Into Atmosphere ?

NASA Proposes Spraying Stratospheric Aerosols Into Earths Atmosphere It’s really amazing how many people are waking up to the fact that “chemtrails” are different from...

The New Travel Ban You Didn’t Hear About Is Against U.S. Citizens

As emotions intensify over Trump’s recent immigration ban, the State Department and IRS have quietly used it as a smokescreen to roll out a...

Elijah Wood Just Exposed Hollywood’s Organized Pedophilia Ring

Up until now, Corey Feldman’s attempt to blow the whistle on pedophilia and child abuse in Hollywood, have fallen on deaf ears. The actor’s troubled...

Hibernating Alien discovered inside Secret Chamber in the Great Pyramid

Would you believe a story about an alien mummy being found in the Great Pyramid of Giza? In the March 2000 issue of the Egyptian...

Islamic State an imminent threat to US?

Pentagon calls Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen' US Defense Secretary said on Thursday that Islamic State militants could possibly pose an even bigger...

Canada Officially Moves to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Nationwide

Canada officially moved to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday when the government introduced legislation allowing the possession of small amounts of cannabis. The new law...