Chinese Scientists Develop High Antioxidant Purple Rice thru Genetic Engineering
Scientists from South China Agricultural University successfully developed
rice rich in antioxidants. The results of the study are published in
Molecular Plant journal.
Rice rich in beta-carotene and folate were successfully developed through
engineering. Previous attempts to develop rice rich in anthocyanin were
unsuccessful because the biosynthetic pathway involved is very complex.
Yao-Guang Liu of South China Agricultural University and colleagues
initially analyzed the sequences of anthocyanin pathways
in various varieties of rice and identified the nonfunctional genes in
japonica and indica rice that do not produce anthocyanins. Based on the
analysis, they developed a transgene stacking strategy for expressing 8
anthocyanin pathway genes in the endosperm. This led to the development of
the first genetically engineered purple endosperm rice with high anthocyanin
and antioxidant activity in the endosperm.
The researchers plan to develop other cereal crops enriched with