Golden rice – Biofortification – Oryza sativa

Botany

Golden rice is a variety of Oryza sativa (rice) produced through genetic engineering of biosynthesized beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin-A in the edible parts of rice developed by Ingo Potrykus and his group. The aim is to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary Vitamin-A.

Golden rice differs from its parental strain by the addition of three beta-carotene biosynthesis genes namely ‘psy’ (phytoene synthase) from daffodil plant Narcissus pseudonarcissus and ‘crt-1’ gene from the soil bacterium Erwinia auredorora and ‘lyc’ (lycopene cyclase) gene from wild-type rice endosperm. The endosperm of normal rice, does not contain beta-carotene. Golden-rice has been genetically altered so that the endosperm now accumulates Beta-carotene. This has been done using Recombinant DNA technology. Golden rice can control childhood blindness – Xerophthalmia.

GM Food – Benefits

• High yield without pest

• 70% reduction of pesticide usage

• Reduce soil pollution problem

• Conserve microbial population in soil

Risks – believed to

• Affect liver, kidney function and cancer

• Hormonal imbalance and physical disorder

• Anaphylactic shock (sudden hypersensitive reaction) and allergies.

• Adverse effect in immune system because of bacterial protein.

• Loss of viability of seeds seen in terminator seed technology of GM crops.

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