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.

Poll Question:
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?

Excited
67

Concerned
125

Both Equally
88