We’re thrilled to announce the publication of an IRRI paper in Nature on the discovery of the precise location of the Phosphorus Starvation Tolerance (PSTOL1) gene in rice. Well done to Sigrid Heuer, Rico Gamuyao and all others in the team at IRRI and around the world!
The paper, The protein kinase PSTOL1 from traditional rice confers tolerance of phosphorus deficiency, reports that rice with the PSTOL1 gene grows a bigger, better root system that can access more phosphorus, This can lead to 20% higher yields when grown in phosphorus deficient soil.
This research has been supported and facilitated by the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program.
In earlier work at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), the Indian rice variety Kasalath had been recognized as having genes that helped it take up phosphorus.
The discovery of the precise PSTOL1 gene means that rice breeders will be able to breed new rice varieties with the enhanced ability to take up phosphorus with 100% certainty their new rice will have the desirable gene.
We've also written a media release about it: Underground solution to starving rice plants