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Chinese Scientists Claim to Breed High-protein Rice
Scientists in central-south China'sHunan Province claim they have successfully bred a new species of "high nutrition rice" which will greatly raise the protein intake of Chinese consumers.

Hong Yahui, an associate researcher with the Hunan Agriculture University, said the DH series rice he and his colleagues cultivated had an average protein content of 13.8 percent. One variety in the series even contained 14.9 percent of protein.

At present, ordinary rice varieties in China contain only some 8 percent of protein. Meanwhile, a survey has found that the dailyaverage protein intake of the Chinese, who eat rice as their staple food, was merely 67 grams, much lower than the 100 gram level in developed countries.

The protein content of the new rice strain has won approval from the Hangzhou Rice and Rice Products Quality Test Center affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Hong noted.

To breed the new rice, researchers took DNA from a high-proteinmaize variety and put it into a type of high-quality early rice, said Hong.

Field tests proved the new rice was also high-yielding and verydisease resistant, which many scientists in the past had not believed was possible, Hong added.

But he did not disclose when this new rice strain would be introduced to China's rice paddies.

(China Daily July 8, 2002)

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