Rice

More Efficient Photosynthesis Transferred From Corn Into Rice: Could Boost Yields 50 Percent

Malthusian doomsters foiled again.

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Rice C4
IRRI

Researchers associated with the International Rice Research Institute are reporting C4 photosynthesis success on the way toward dramatically boosting the productivity of grains like rice and wheat that use less efficient C3 photosynthesis. According to Technology Review:

In December, geneticists announced that they'd made a major advance in engineering rice plants to carry out photosynthesis in a more efficient way—much as corn and many fast-growing weeds do. The advance, by a consortium of 12 laboratories in eight countries, removes a big obstacle from scientists' efforts to dramatically increase the production of rice and, potentially, wheat. It comes at a time when yields of those two crops, which together feed nearly 40 percent of the world, are dangerously leveling off, making it increasingly difficult to meet rapidly growing food demand.

The supercharged process, called C4 photosynthesis, boosts plants' growth by capturing carbon dioxide and concentrating it in specialized cells in the leaves. That allows the photosynthetic process to operate much more efficiently. It's the reason corn and sugarcane grow so productively; if C4 rice ever comes about, it will tower over conventional rice within a few weeks of planting. Researchers calculate that engineering C4 photosynthesis into rice and wheat could increase yields per hectare by roughly 50 percent; alternatively, it would be possible to use far less water and fertilizer to produce the same amount of food.

Getting the C4 pathway to work at all in rice and wheat is just the first step. However, the fantastic new CRISPR gene-editing technology should speed the process of developing more efficient grain crops up substantially. The researchers believe that the first upgraded rice and wheat varieties could be available to farmers in a decade. The spectre of famine recedes ever further. Take that Paul Ehrlich!

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  1. I demand we turn rice into expensive and unnecessary fuel additives for our cars.

    1. Go to any street race or watch Fast and Furious version 9.0 and you will see plenty of rice burners.

  2. GMO RICE TURNED MY BABY INTO AUTISTIC SWAMP THING.

    (And not the good Alan Moore Swamp Thing, the crappy Len Wein one.)

  3. FRANKENFOOD! NO GMO!!! I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE SEXUALLY!! WE MUST STOP THIS!!!!

    /prog derp

    1. Yes, I love how progressives will blather about how much they love science in one sentance, and then proceed to talk about how they hate GMOs in the next, without the slightest hint of irony.

      1. It makes sense when you realize they just hate people. The fewer of ’em, the better.

      2. Yes, I love how progressives will blather about how much they love science in one sentance, and then proceed to talk about how they hate GMOs in the next, without the slightest hint of irony.

        Well their anti-GMO stance is rooted firmly in scientific reasoning. You see, when you eat genetically altered plants, their DNA isn’t natural and so when your body digests the deoxyribose nucleic acid the normal process by which the food erm… reproduces…cell division….uhh….enzymes…. consensus…um…autism and cancer……awww fuck it, you’re an anti-science racist if you don’t agree with my assessment.

        1. DNA is a giant mystery that nobody understands!!

          ANYTHING could happen!

          You can’t prove it wont, so I’m not going to listen to anything you say!

          LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALLAALALAL!!!!
          I’m not listening to your corporate “science”! LALALALALALALALALALALA!!!!

  4. GMO OMG!!1!1eleven1! *starts foaming at the mouth*

    /progtard

    1. That’s interesting …. GMO is OMG backwards.

      OMG!

  5. C4 Rice!? They are trying to make us explode!

      1. Ah fuck, it denies the hotlinking. Well, the URL gives you the punchline just as well.

  6. But so what? It’s GMO and therefore sinful. Brown and yellow people in far-off lands have to starve by the millions to keep me within my moral comfort zone.

    1. Not to mention that it just enables us to continue fossil fueling the planet to hell.

      1. It enables the continuation of the global corporatist capitalist system!
        We need a global catastrophe to force us away from our market loving ways. Only then will we learn to embrace mother earth and communism! Suffering makes people better!

        1. It enables the continuation of the global corporatist capitalist system!

          Stealing from the dinosaurs to find new and better ways to feed more people without money on the cheap? Those capitalist bastards really do have a global catastrophe coming to them.

    2. Don’t worry – CAGW will kill them all anyways!

      /proggie

  7. And, you know what should make environmentalists happy? Higher CO2 concentrations creates more C4 plants. What’s that, you say? Global warming has a benefit?! But, this isn’t really about the benefits of more CO2 and warmer temperatures, is it, environmentalists?

    1. Just tell them it is a green carbon sequestration project…

    2. What part of climate *change* and variability do you not understand?

      Higher CO2 is only a benefit so long as the temperature stays *stably* high. Otherwise, we’ll have massive crop failures when it’s suddenly freezing for greater parts of the year.

      /Just parroting the bullshit.

    3. Not really. C3 plants generally respond more favorably to higher CO2 concentrations than C4 plants.

      http://www.co2science.org/subj…..c3vsc4.php

      That’s not to say that it hurts C4 plants, just that they’re not as CO2 starved as their C3 cousins.

  8. Frankenfood?

  9. A genuine enviro dilemma. A GMO that captures carbon and reduces both water and nitrate usage while increasing grain yields by 50%.

    Nope, no dilemma. Let the people starve.

  10. Somewhere, the Ghost of Norm Borlaug smiles.

  11. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,,

    http://www.work-mill.com

  12. I would love to hear Ron’s thoughts on Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan stance on GMOs. It seems that the science is so far in favor of GMOs, but there is always the knowledge problem.

    1. Is so far? It’s basically irrefutable when you consider that humans have been eating GMOs for thousands of years and the present population of over 6 billion would not exist if that were not the case.

    2. AJ: I think Taleb has seen at least one Black Swan too many. See here and here for some thoughtful analyses of Taleb’s claims.

      1. Thanks Ron, these are good rebuttals. I find Taleb to have a much more nuanced view than the typical fearmonger. I don’t agree with him, but it’s a view worth debating.

  13. Researchers calculate that engineering C4 photosynthesis into rice and wheat could increase yields per hectare by roughly 50 percent; alternatively, it would be possible to use far less water and fertilizer to produce the same amount of food.

    For the sake of Gaia, we must not let this GMO be developed!!

  14. Why should rice and wheat have all the fun? When do I get to be genetically modified?

  15. Once they get c4 rice they can start working on getting nitrogen fixing c4 crops. Sugarcane already gets some nitrogen from the air through an associated bacteria.

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