Submitted to: Journal of Crop Production
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/6/2001
Publication Date: 1/1/2002
Citation: KIM, J., KRISHNAN, H.B. MAKING RICE A PERFECT FOOD: TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY. JOURNAL OF CROP PRODUCTION. 2002. V. 5(1-2). P. 93-130.
Technical Abstract: Despite a significant increase in food production during the last century, world production will need to be doubled or tripled by the year 2050 to meet the needs of an expected 10 billion global population. Fortunately, a second revolution in agriculture appears to be taking place from advances in biotechnology. Worldwide in 1999, about 40 million hectares of transgenic plants were grown, and this area is expected to increase significantly for years to come. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the staple food of the majority of 3.5 billion people in Asia. Increases in population in the rice growing regions of Asia will require 70% more rice in 2025 than is consumed today. In addition, rice in its milled form, is poor in essential amino acids and a range of vitamins and micronutrients, and that creates malnutrition. With the increasing number of genes discovered in plants and other organisms, transgenic research is being utilized to improve agronomic ctraits of rice, such as resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, and to increase photosynthetic efficiency which collectively increase yield. Research is also moving toward improvement of grain quality traits, including amino acids, micronutirents, and vitamins. The genomes of Arabidopsis and rice will soon be completely sequenced. Techniques for rice transformation have been developed and greatly improved. Thus, collaborative efforts in genomics, transformation, and molecular breeding of rice are expected to lead to a significant contribution to global food security. In this article, we review the current status of genetic improvement of rice. Improved methods for transgene expression in rice and potential modifications that will significantly improve yield and grain quality of rice are also discussed.