Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Science and Technology Mains Syllabus : GS 3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Context:

  • Researchers have found a way to boost the plant growth genetically.

Details:

  • Scientists have confirmed 40% increase in tobacco plant productivity using their genetic shortcut.. The same mechanism could be replicated in other plants such as wheat or soy beans in order to meet demand.
  • According to the research, the enzyme ‘Rubisco’, which is a key to carbon fixation process (converting atmospheric carbon into an organic compound, consumed by plants), also acts to fix atmospheric oxygen, converting it into toxic compounds that the plant expends considerable energy eliminating it. This competing process is called photorespiration. The scientists have discovered that implanting bits of algae DNA into the tobacco plant’s cells to create a type of biological shortcut would speed up the process of photorespiration.
  • According to them, when a plant uses less energy on photorespiration, it will be able to take that energy and put it into plant growth and plant productivity, rather than using it to metabolise this toxic compound.
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