Scientists find genes to tackle climate change in outback rice

Queensland scientists have discovered that an ancient relative of rice contains genes that could potentially save food crops from the devastating effects of global warming. Wild rice plants in hotter and drier parts of Australia tend to be more genetically diverse, they found.

The genetic diversity found by the scientists is seen as a bulwark against climate change because some genes offer plants a degree of resistance to bacterial and fungal pathogens, both of which are known to attack plants under stress.

Prof Robert Henry, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=24218