Agricultural scientists in Japan recently engineered a strain of rice that will only flower several weeks after being sprayed with oryzemate, a common agricultural antifungal. They achieved this by overexpressing the flower-suppressing gene Ghd7 and then modifying the florigen gene Hd3a to activate in response to certain agrochemicals.
This represents a new avenue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that could potentially maximize crop yield by selecting the ideal harvest times. However, this lock-and-key approach could also be used to create GM crops with proprietary flowering agents.
Japanese scientist recently engineered a strain of rice to only flower after being exposed to a common agrochemical. While this could be used to maximize crop yields by specifying the time of harvest, it could also lead to lock-and-key proprietary seed and flowering agents.
Are you more excited by the prospect of timed harvests or concerned for the chemical control over florigenation?