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To Reduce Arsenic Toxicity in Rice, Indian Researchers Create Transgenic Rice

To Reduce Arsenic Toxicity in Rice, Indian Researchers Create Transgenic Rice

The accumulation of Arsenic in rice grains is causing a serious problem in the agricultural sector. To tackle the serious issue, a group of researcher from the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow has created new version rice called transgenic rice.

To create the transgenic rice, Arsenic methyltransferase (WaarsM) gene was cloned from Westerdykellaaurantiaca (a type of soil fungus), after that, the researchers inserted the WaarsM into the rice genome through Agrobacterium tumefaciens (a type of soil bacterium). The soil bacterium had the potential to alter the plant’s genetic makeup naturally.

After creating the transgenic rice, the researchers treated it and the normal rice with Arsenic. Once the treatment process was completed, the roots of the transgenic plants accumulated less Arsenic than the non-transgenic lines.The results eventually proved that transgenic rice accumulates very low amount of Arsenic as compared to normal rice.

Currently, the researchers are carrying out food safety test and field trials to get approvals by the government. Additionally, the researchers are creating new techniques to find gaps in rice. The gaps will definitely allow them to understand arsenic uptake and metabolism process in rice.

The research work has been published in the Journal of hazardous materials.

The team of researchers involved- Alok Kumar Meher and Amit Kumar Bansiwal from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, and the rest were from the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute which included Debasis Chakarabarty,  Rudra Deo Tripathi, Shikha Verma, Pankaj Kumar Verma, Maria Kidwai, Manju Shri.


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