Thursday, March 4, 2010

No Technical Impediments to Biotech Rice

Recombinant DNA technology and methods for generating biotech rice are available thus assuring that there are no technical impediments to the widespread adoption of biotech rice by rice-growing countries. Dr. John Bennett, honorary professor of the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia, predicts that there will be further increases in the efficiency of biotech rice production with the introduction of (1) floral spray inoculation of Agrobacterium to avoid tissues culture; (2) homologous recombination to insert genes in a targeted rather than random manner, and (3) plastome transformation to permit alteration of key photosynthetic genes in the chloroplast.

In Biotech Rice-Present Status and Future Prospects, a special feature in Brief 41 on the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops 2009 published by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Bennett notes however, that several potential impediments arise from the regulation of biotech crops in the major rice-growing countries. He said that two major rice-growing countries, China and India, would benefit from more transparency in devising and costing the tests for food safety and environmental protection. A major challenge will be to enhance yield potential and yield stability and to give high priority to issues such as climate change.

A copy of Brief 41 can be purchased online at

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