Plant Genetics and Breeding on The Rice Stuff

Number 69 superimposed over photo of combine and grain cart in mature rice field
Podcast guests do a great job explaining the complex subject of non-GMO DNA marker technology
May 23, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA – The future is here and what sounds like the fevered dreams of science fiction writers is actually happening at leading rice research facilities today.  All U.S. rice is GMO-free, however, the use of non-GMO DNA marker technologies has greatly improved the rice breeding process in recent years.  USA Rice’s Dr. Steve Linscombe invited some of the leading minds in this work to discuss the technology on Episode 69 of The Rice Stuff, available now.

LSU Assistant Professors Brijesh Angira and Roberto Fritsche-Neto join LSU Associate Professor Dr. Adam Famoso, and RiceTec, Inc.’s director of global breeding transformation, Joshua Cobb, to share what they use the technology for, how it works, and what it may mean for the future of rice variety development.

“This is obviously a very complex subject, and we probably just scratched the surface, but our guests did a very good job of breaking things down for us,” said podcast co-host Michael Klein. “With all the challenges the rice industry is facing – from customer grain preferences and an aversion to GMO, to climate change and related pressures – this technology and the research associated with it are extremely important.  The value can’t be overstated.”

DNA marker assistance is different from CRISPR technology that edits existing genes and straight genetic modification that is the introduction of new genetic material into existing genes, and helps rice breeders focus their efforts in the hunt for outstanding rice varieties.

“I’m not aware of any plans for GMO rice to enter commercial production in the U.S., but marker assistance is here and we were happy to share this exciting technology with our audience,” said Linscombe.  “We’ll be looking at CRISPR technology in the future so stay tuned.”

New episodes of The Rice Stuff are published on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, and online at