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Rice HarvestingBen Ashmole via Flckr Creative Commons

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Rice,Rice,BabyMartin Fisch via Flickr Creative Commons

CAS-Croucher Joint Labs

The CAS-Croucher Funding Scheme for Joint Laboratories is the outcome of an agreement between The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Croucher Foundati...

Molecular mechanisms of yield and abiotic stress tolerance in rice

This study brings together two internationally recognised experts on plant cell biology and rice genetics to work on the molecular mechanisms of yield and abiotic stress tolerance in rice, with the long-term goal of establishing a joint laboratory and making significant contributions toward our understanding of the basic mechanisms of crop yield and environmental tolerance.

I hope our collaborative efforts will significantly speed up the rice research progress and contribute to the future development of rice biotechnology in China.

Professor LIN Hongxuan

Rice is one of the most important staple crops in China and the world. Over the past decades, great effort has been made by plant scientists to understand rice biology in terms of growth and development, yield, grain quality, adaption to stress and traits for breeding. 

Currently, both classical and molecular approaches have been used and developed to improve rice for higher yield and resistance to abiotic stress such as salt, in plant biotechnology.

Basic research is essential for the success of plant biotechnology. For example, knowledge of basic cell biology such as protein targeting is crucial for the success of plant biotechnology, including using plants as bioreactors for producing functional pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering of rice plants to develop tolerance to abiotic stress or to promote grain yield.

This Croucher-CAS-funded project brings together two laboratories with excellent track records in Plant Cell Biology and Rice Genetics.  Professors Jiang at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Lin at Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are working together on important biological questions related to rice biology and biotechnology. 

Working in synergy in their respective areas of expertise (Jiang in rice molecular biology and Lin in rice genetics) using the model cabbage-like plant Arabidopsis, the researchers have identified important genes and proteins in rice which are being tested in Arabidopsis cells to determine their subcellular localisation and protein-protein interaction in order to understand the molecular mechanisms of gene actions or protein functions in rice.

The researchers say that such collaborative efforts  will significantly speed up rice research progress using the Arabidopsis model, and contribute to the future development of rice biology and biotechnology in China.