STAFF REPORT IBD: Feeding Asia in the 21st century will require a second green revolution, however, unlike in the first generation, future yield increases will have to come from crop varieties using less water and nitrogen in view of the global climate change.

Experts say that this can be done only by increasing the efficiency of photosynthetic system, i.e. developing a C4 rice plant. If and when achieved, it would be the first non-evolutionary example of reconstructing the primary metabolism of a plant.

At present when elite rice cultivars, which dominate the food supplies of millions of poor people in Asia, have approached a yield barrier, plant breeding seems to have exploited all of the intrinsic high yield-linked genes.

The C4 is a cutting edge science. Different consortia in more than ten countries are working in this context to change C3 plants to C4 with the basic strategy, underlining idea is to discover the genes, generate a model plant and then introduce C4 photosynthesis into widely used cultivars.

Farm experts are of the view that if the world will succeeds in creating a C4 rice strain, Pakistan will get benefit of it accordingly.

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