Thursday, March 1, 2012

UKM Scientists Developed High Yielding Superior Red Rice

BANGI, 23 Feb. 2012 – After seven years of research UKM’s scientists with the cooperation of MARDI’s research officers have successfully produced a variety of rice which not only can increase padi yield but also has properties with low glycaemic index suitable for diabetics.

Its Plant Genetics and Biotechnology expert, from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Prof Dr. R. Wickneswari Ratnam assisted by some 14 other scientists from UKM, Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) , Malaysia Nuclear Agency (MNA) and UM had been doing research on this since 2002 and have succeeded in producing the new padi variant G33 named UKMRC9 which can increase local red rice production.

Prof Wickneswari described it as a superior red rice developed through conventional breeding involving controlled cross-breeding between cultivar MR219 and wild rice Oryza rufipogon. It involved the transfer of genes of the wild type to the common paddy produced by MARDI now extensively cultivated in the country.

She was assisted by Dr K K Sabu, Dr. Lim Li Sze, Dr. Atiqur Bhuiyan, Dr. Abdul Rahim Harun,  En. Parviz Fasahat, Puan Ngu Mee Siing, En. Abdullah M Zain, Puan Site Zuraini Abdul Rahman, Dr. Narimah Md Kairudin, Dr. Tilakavati Karupiah, Prof. Aminah Abdullah, Dr. Kharidah Muhammad, Chua Khun Aik and Tan Choon Heen in planning and carrying out the seven years of research.

In an interview with UKM News Portal, Prof Wickneswari said the cross-breeding was done manually. “We did not make any manipulation. We took pollen from the wild rice and pollinated it with the modern rice and used genetic markers to determine whether it was cross-bred or not.

“This was because there’s a possibility the cross-breeding did not materialise and we also wanted to know how much of the wild rice genes was transferred to the modern rice that we eat today,” she said.
Read full article
Read another report by The Star, Malaysian Daily

Search My Blog