Te­masek Rice in global seed vault

The Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Dr Yin Zhongchao, a se­nior prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor at Te­masek Life Sciences Lab­o­ra­tory (TLL), and his team worked to un­der­stand how plants deal with stresses at the molec­u­lar level and how rice in­ter­acts with the en­vi­ron­ment and builds up nat­u­ral de­fence mech­a­nisms.

They also tapped pro­pri­etary know-how and mod­ern breed­ing tech­nol­ogy to rapidly gen­er­ate a li­brary of new and im­proved rice va­ri­eties.

Te­masek Rice, one of the seven rice va­ri­eties TLL con­trib­uted to the Sval­bard Global Seed Vault, is one such ex­am­ple.

The hardy grain has a nice fra­grance and shorter and stur­dier stalks than reg­u­lar rice va­ri­eties. It is a high-yield­ing variety which can nat­u­rally re­sist bac­te­rial and fun­gal dis­eases as well as over­come en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges such as floods, said a TLL spokesman.

TLL’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peter Chia said: “Re­search pro­jects at TLL are shaped with sus­tain­abil­ity and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity in mind. In the case of Te­masek Rice, we work with like-minded part­ners... and bring about fur­ther de­vel­op­men­tal ef­forts to ben­e­fit lives and the en­vi­ron­ment and cre­ate value for busi­nesses.”

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