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Scientists Discover Gene that Confers Flood Tolerance, Drought Tolerance, and Disease Resistance in Rice
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: April 04, 2018 11:44AM

An international collaboration between researchers at the University of
Copenhagen, Nagoya University and the University of Western Australia has
discovered a gene in rice that confers flood tolerance, drought tolerance,
and disease resistance, and the discovery of the gene is a major step
forward in the quest to produce climate smart crops.

The gene LGF1 controls the nano-structure of leaf surfaces. During flood
events, the gene enables survival of submerged rice since the wax
nano-structures retain a thin Leaf Gas Film; hence the name of the gene,
LGF1. The gas films facilitate gas exchange with floodwater so that carbon
dioxide can be taken up at daytime in order to fuel underwater
photosynthesis, and oxygen can be extracted at night. The LGF1 gene also
confers drought tolerance, since the tiny wax crystals reduce evaporation
from leaf surfaces, conserving tissue water. "We have assessed the
importance of leaf gas films during submergence of rice, and in some
"situations, rice grows equally well above, as well as below water - only
because rice possesses the LGF1 gene', said Ole Pedersen of the University
of Copenhagen.


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