New ’snorkel’ rice plant could feed millions

August 20th, 2009 - 1:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 20 (ANI): Scientists have come up with a new rice plant that grows “snorkels” when exposed to floods.

According to a paper published in the journal Nature, the super plant could help boost the production of the staple food in Asia and Africa, where up to 40 per cent of crops are subject to flash floods or deep water.

Japanese experts found the “snorkel” genes in flood-tolerant rice that help prevent it from drowning, reports The BBC.

Scientist Motoyaki Ashikari, Nagoya University in Japan, indicated, “the impact is huge”.

He said: “People cannot plant any crops in the rainy season, because the crops drown and die in the floods.”

The plant, that elongates rapidly in response to being submerged, can grow up to 25cm per day on the arrival of floods. (ANI)

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