C4 plants like corn (Zea mays) that exhibit Kranz (German word meaning wreath) anatomy in their leaves, show higher photosynthetic capacity, nitrogen utilization and water use efficiency than C3 plants like rice. It is therefore one of the important targets of C4 consortium to introduce this trait into rice by transferring necessary gene(s) from closely related C4 species. Though it is not clear which gene(s) are responsible for Kranz anatomy, several candidates have been predicted. To supplement our effort of evaluating about 100 candidate genes, this study involved cloning two of the candidate genes from maize leaf primordia. The transgenic plants overexpressing one of the two genes are currently being evaluated at C4 Rice Center.
“Both students were highly enthusiastic and hard working," said Dr. Biswal. "The cutting edge molecular biology facility at C4 Rice Center helped them to quickly acquire the skills and consequently, led to the success in cloning the genes in a short period. This recognition will motivate them for a career in rice research and success in life."
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