Designing Rice for the 22nd Century: Towards a Rice with an Enhanced Productivity and Efficient Photosynthetic Pathway

Rabin Thapa, Nabin Bhusal


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) has been cultivated as an important cereal crop for more than 9,000 years and more than half of the world’s population depend on rice as it is their primary source of energy. Almost 30% of the current world cereal production is represented by the rice alone. It is estimated that the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050 i.e. 34 percent higher than today and for ensuring an ample amount of food and nutrition to such large population, global consumption of cereals will need to increase from 2.6 to 2.9 billion tonnes by 2027. On the other hand, the impacts of climate change in agriculture are expected to be negative, threatening the global food security. Besides, agriculture and global food security will be severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemics as its after-effects are yet to be ascertained. The world needs an introduction of a new “Green revolution” in agriculture to increase crop production for food security and biofuel, because conventional breeding method have not brought much of gains not keeping its pace with the world population growth. Hence, the current study was done to review the various ongoing approaches and possible ways of designing a rice with enhanced productivity and photosynthetic capacity. One of the ways to increase yields, photosynthetic capacity accompanied by an increased Water Use Efficiency (WUE) and Nutrient Use Efficiency could be to introduce C4 traits into rice. Besides, genetic engineering using CRISPR-Cas9, molecular breeding, developing ideotype, heterosis breeding, developing apomictic rice, nitrogen fixing rice, use of nanotechnology as well as precision farming are the probable future approaches for designing a rice with high productivity. However, there are challenges and limitations in developing such rice and further research in this matter could help us get closer to developing the future rice.


C4 Rice; COVID-19; CRISPR-Cas9, Food security, Green revolution

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ISSN: 2148-127X

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