Scientists from Sweden received the genetically modified rice plantation is hardly emit methane. For this figure supplied by one of the genes of barley, stimulating the deposition of starch in the stems and seeds of the plant. Grains such rice more nutritious, and in the roots, on the contrary, less stored carbohydrates. Therefore, living in the roots of rice soil bacteria gets less raw materials for the synthesis of methane.
Methane – a greenhouse gas malignant, its molecules absorb infrared active molecule of carbon dioxide. The contribution of methane to the increase in temperature is observed with ever since mankind began to actively influence the Earth’s climate is about 20%. The main source of methane, which arose due to human activity – is rice fields. According to various estimates, they produce between 7 and 17% of atmospheric methane. And as humanity is growing and in need of a growing number of food in the future, the number of rice fields likely to increase significantly. Therefore, forward-thinking researchers from Sweden have now have a variety of rice, which almost does not produce methane. If farmers have switched to this figure, the contribution of mankind to global warming have been able to drastically reduce.
Previously, the same team of scientists found in barley gene transcription factor SUSIBA-2, working mainly in the seeds of plants and enhances the operating time of the starch. Starch – a polymer in which a plant stockpile sugars formed during photosynthesis. If you make a gene SUSIBA-2 to work actively in certain tissues of the plant, there will flock sugar. It is clear that such a redistribution in the rice stocks of sugar from the roots to stems and grain could help reduce methane emissions plantations of this plant.
The fact that methane is not synthesized by the rice and certain bacteria living on its roots. The raw materials for the synthesis of methane bacteria use acetate, and other carbon-containing molecules formed after the collapse of the sugar. Therefore, the less sugar will be supplied to the roots, the less will feel comfortable methane-producing bacteria, and the less methane will be released into the atmosphere rice fields.
Scientists have genetically modified rice plants in which the working of the transcription factor gene of barley SUSIBA-2. The control system is also borrowed from the genome of barley: the gene he begins to actively work only in the presence of a sufficient amount of sugar. Accumulating transcription factor thus enhances the activity of its own gene and includes other genes necessary for bonding sugars to starch. It turns out that the system works more actively, as there is sugar free. But to begin its operation need to sugar present in free form in sufficient quantities, so it will not be active in all parts of the plant.
The resulting rice researchers Jachmeneva factor SUSIBA-2 actively accumulating in the seeds and stems of plants, formed in the leaves in a barely noticeable amounts, but the roots are not synthesized at all. The same pattern was observed with the activity of genes involved in the processing of sugar to starch. Thus scientists were able to redirect the flow of sugars in the plant, so that they both can be stowed in the active seeds and stems, and not in roots. In addition to achieving the main goal – to reduce the formation of methane – it turned out that the seeds are more nutritious rice and dry weight increased.
All methanogenic bacteria have coenzyme F420. In its specific fluorescence can be easily distinguished from the rest of methanogenic bacteria. Scientists have studied using fluorescence microscopy roots of transgenic rice grown under field and laboratory conditions, and found that in both cases it methanogenic bacteria on the roots smaller than the ordinary rice (Fig. 2). Not surprisingly, the landing of the methane produces less rice.
Interestingly, the effectiveness of the system depended on the time of year and day, because it includes a system of redistribution of sugars only when enough of their operating time. Thus, the difference in the morning release of methane and conventional planting of transgenic rice was small, but increased sharply in the afternoon. In the summer of transgenic rice produces less methane than the fall. At the peak achievements of sugars genetically modified plants emit only 0.3% of the amount of methane generated in the usual rice.
Genetically modified rice has already been three years of field trials in several regions of China. But because these plants affect the balance of soil bacteria to spread the new rice varieties need longer and more detailed studies of the composition of the soil. In addition, now widely disseminate a new variety of rice will not work due to mistrust of society to technology GMOs. Therefore, the researchers plan to get rice with the same genetic modification by traditional methods – using selection. Researchers estimate that it will take about ten years.