The diet of the world’s population is without a doubt one of the great challenges of our time. Especially of rice, plays in this context an important role. Because in Asia it is the staple food of the population.

Chinese researchers have now been able to increase the yield of rice plants by changing the metabolism by up to 27 percent. You put genes elsewhere in the genome, thus increasing the photosynthetic output. The procedure of the group of Xin-Xiang Peng from the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou in the journal “Molecular presents Plans”.

“shortage of food in connection with the growth of the world population is a serious Problem that our Planet has to provide,” Peng cited in a communication from the magazine. Therefore, he wanted to improve his Team on the metabolism of the rice plant (Oryza sativa). Because the process in which the Plant from carbon dioxide (CO2), water and the energy of sunlight produces the energy carrier Glucose, Glycolate. This Plant is poisonous substance must be degraded by an energy – consuming process – the so-called Photorespiration or light breathing.

Peng and his colleagues ensured that, in the chloroplasts, where photosynthesis occurs, three enzymes, Glycolate Oxidase, oxalate Oxidase, and catalase. This will ensure that a part of the Glykolats is degraded.

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Normally, to be deposited in the light, respiration in the mitochondria, the cell’s power plants, CO2 and ammonia. Due to the change in the metabolism of the Plant is now less ammonia (NH3) – and thus an important nitrogen lost. At the same time, more CO2 is produced in the chloroplast, where it is then available for photosynthesis. The genetically modified plants show a higher photosynthesis Rate, faster growth and a larger yield of rice grains.

The output is then particularly large, when plenty of light is available. He could also turn out to be even greater, if the genetically modified seed would be better to germinate. Because it germinates significantly worse than seeds from the wild type of the Plant. “It is continually trying to reveal how exactly the reduced germination rate comes into effect, in order to overcome this deficiency, and to maximise the grain yield potential,” the scientists write in their conclusion.

A similar principle, namely, the process of light respiration to shorten and in the chloroplasts, more CO2, provide, had, US researchers recently presented the case of genetically modified tobacco in the journal “Science”. The group of Donald place from the University of Illinois in Urbana, is used for the changes of metabolism, however, other types of genes, namely, from giant pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) and green algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii).


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.