China Establishes Research Institute for Wild Rice

A research institute was established Wednesday in east China's Jiangxi Province for the protection and genetic use of Dongxiang wild rice, a rare rice strain which scientists say can survive harsh climatic conditions and natural disasters in the wild.

Dongxiang wild rice is distributed in the northernmost region on earth and carries strong hereditary features, such as pest- resistant genes and genes that can help it survive cold weather and arid regions, said Chen Dazhou, director of the newly founded institute.

The research institute aims to develop new rice strains carrying the genetic advantages of the Dongxiang wild rice, and to obtain international patents for the new products.

Due to the expansion of human activities and ecological changes to the environment, the present growing area of the wild rice strain has been reduced to 0.2 hectares from two hectares when it was first discovered in the province.

Experts consider the best way to protect the strain is to introduce biogenetic technology to develop the genes.

Competition in rice genetic research has been intensified with international rice genome-sequencing programs and the participation of large biotech companies in the research, said Li Guoqiang, director of the Science and Technology Department of the provincial government of Jiangxi.

He said Jiangxi is concentrating the research effort on the DNA identification of Dongxiang wild rice for commercial use.

(China Daily December 29, 2001)

In This Series

China Makes Breakthrough in Rice Gene Chip

China Finishes its Part of Rice Gene Sequencing

China Renews World Hybrid Rice Record



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