Crops that can grow 50% more potatoes, rice

A genetic tweak that targets RNA can grow crops that yield significantly more food and show increased drought tolerance

September 15, 2021
The Scitech

UChicago-led research could yield increased food production, boost drought tolerance

Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University.

In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both rice and potato plants increased their yield by 50% in field tests. The plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems and were better able to tolerate drought stress. Analysis also showed that the plants had increased their rate of photosynthesis.