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As global demand for food increases, plant geneticists are working to increase the productivity of rice by investigating gene switches which control development of vascular tissue. The work is at an early stage, and involves difficult extraction of the meristems from the young plants in order to look at the gene expression in the developing tissues. The work is important because populations are increasing, fertilisers are increasingly expensive and rainfall is increasingly unpredictable.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
21 June 2011

Classroom Ideas

Discuss the importance of genetic engineering for the survival of people as our population increases. Students could consider and research the pros and cons of the type of work featured in relation to crop yield, land use conflicts, global trade and other issues. It can be used in the context of global warming and the ecology of LEDCs. The clip can also be used to discuss limiting factors and photosynthesis.