In a significant breakthrough, a university research team in central China has made a remarkable discovery by identifying a crucial genetic code that can enhance rice grain yield by 7-15%.
The scientists from Huazhong Agricultural University demonstrated that a genetic marker called GY3 in rice has the potential to increase grain yield by over 20% when modulated through a two-step process. Moreover, the introduction of CG3 (GY3 entry) led to a noteworthy increase in grain yield per plot, ranging from 7.4% to an impressive 16.3% across all studied rice varieties. Their groundbreaking findings were recently published in the esteemed journal Nature Genetics.
As the world’s leading consumer of rice, China has been striving to find innovative ways to boost rice production. The cultivation of high-yield and high-quality rice varieties is not only a subject of critical scientific research but also crucial for ensuring food security.
After 12 years of dedicated research and meticulous analysis, the research team discovered that most indica rice varieties lacking the GY3 locus exhibited substantial yield improvements, ranging from 9.1% to 16.3%, upon reintroducing the GY3-improved species.
Xing Yongzhong, one of the authors of the paper, emphasized that the findings indicate GY3’s potential for enhancing rice breeding efforts. This groundbreaking research offers promising prospects for increasing rice productivity, which could have significant implications for food sustainability in China and beyond.