Saturday, June 20, 2020

20th June,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


Dark matter' DNA is vital for rice reproduction

Regions of DNA that give rise to non-coding RNA are required for proper development of plant reproductive organs.

Date:
June 19, 2020
Source:
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Summary:
Researchers have shed light on the reproductive role of 'dark matter' DNA - non-coding DNA sequences that previously seemed to have no function. Their findings have revealed that a specific non-coding genomic region is essential for the proper development of the male and female reproductive organs in rice.
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Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have shed light on the reproductive role of 'dark matter' DNA -- non-coding DNA sequences that previously seemed to have no function.
Their findings, published today in Nature Communications, have revealed that a specific non-coding genomic region is essential for the proper development of the male and female reproductive organs in rice.
"Rice is one of the major global crops and is the staple food in many countries, including Japan," said Dr. Reina Komiya, senior author of the research paper and associate researcher from the OIST Science and Technology Group. "Further research into how these genomic regions affect plant reproduction could potentially lead to increased productivity and more stable yields of rice."
Many previous developmental studies have focused on genes -- the sections of DNA that provide instructions for making proteins. But in complex creatures like plants and animals, a large fraction of the genome -- typically between 90-98% -- doesn't actually code for proteins.
The vast expanse of this 'junk DNA' has long puzzled biologists, with many dubbing it the 'dark matter' of the genome. But recent research suggests that many of these non-coding genomic regions may have a function after all, giving rise to non-coding RNA.
Scientists have now identified numerous types of non-coding RNA, ranging from small molecules only 20-30 nucleotide bases in length to long molecules of over 200 nucleotides. Although studies show that non-coding RNA plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression -- the process where a gene's instructions are used to make RNA or protein -- the precise function of each specific non-coding RNA remains poorly understood.
Dr. Komiya is particularly interested in reproduction-specific RNAs. "These are non-coding RNAs that are produced as the reproductive system forms. I wanted to uncover what role they play in the development of stamens and pistils, the male and female reproductive organs in plants."
Making mutants
In the study, Dr. Komiya's group focused on a reproduction-specific microRNA -- a major class of small non-coding RNAs -- called microRNA2118.
The scientists created mutant rice strains by deleting a region of the genome that contains multiple copies of the specific DNA sequence that gives rise to microRNA2118. They found that the mutant strains were sterile and showed abnormalities in the structure of the stamens and pistils.
"This means that the role of microRNA2118 in the proper development of the stamens and pistils is essential for plant fertility," said Dr. Komiya.
Revealing RNA and probing proteins
In order to delve deeper into how microRNA2118 controlled development of the anther, the scientists then identified which other molecules were affected by microRNA2118.
They found that microRNA2118 triggered the cleavage of long non-coding RNA, producing many tiny RNA molecules, called secondary small RNAs.
"Interestingly, these small RNAs were rich in uracil, one of the four nucleotide bases found in RNA, which is very unusual compared to other small RNAs," said Dr. Komiya. "We hope to find out the exact function of these small RNAs -- and whether this difference in nucleotide composition is important -- in further research."
The scientists also discovered that two Argonaute proteins that were only produced in the stamen were dependent on the presence of microRNA2118. Previous research has shown that Argonaute proteins team up with small RNAs to carry out many regulatory functions, such as silencing genes and cleaving RNA.
Dr. Komiya's group therefore proposes that the Argonaute proteins may interact with microRNA2118 to trigger production of the secondary small RNAs. The proteins may also interact with the secondary small RNAs to silence specific regions of the genome. The team hopes to elucidate exactly how the Argonaute proteins and secondary small RNAs affect development of the plant reproductive system in further research.
"Reproduction is an important phenomenon of passing genetic information to the next generation and is essential for maintaining a stable yield supply. However, development of the reproductive system is complicated, and many aspects remain unknown," concluded Dr. Komiya. "This study shows that non-coding RNAs, derived from regions of the genome that were thought to be non-functional, are vital for plant reproduction. Exploring non-coding RNAs further is an exciting and important area of research."

Story Source:
Materials provided by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. Original written by Dani Ellenby. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Saori Araki, Ngoc Tu Le, Koji Koizumi, Alejandro Villar-Briones, Ken-Ichi Nonomura, Masaki Endo, Haruhiko Inoue, Hidetoshi Saze, Reina Komiya. miR2118-dependent U-rich phasiRNA production in rice anther wall development. Nature Communications, 2020; 11 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16637-3

Cite This Page:
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. "'Dark matter' DNA is vital for rice reproduction: Regions of DNA that give rise to non-coding RNA are required for proper development of plant reproductive organs.." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200619090525.htm>.


Human activity on rivers outpaces, compounds effects of climate change

Date:June 19, 2020
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau
Summary:
The livelihoods of millions of people living along the world's biggest river systems are under threat by a range of stressors caused by the daily economic, societal and political activity of humans -- in addition to the long-term effects of climate change, researchers report.
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The livelihoods of millions of people living along the world's biggest river systems are under threat by a range of stressors caused by the daily economic, societal and political activity of humans -- in addition to the long-term effects of climate change, researchers report.
A new paper by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign geology and geography professor Jim Best and University of Southampton professor Stephen Darby takes a big-picture approach to review the health and resiliency of the world's large river systems, their deltas and their vulnerability to extreme events.
The article is published in the journal One Earth.
Rivers respond to changes in the environment through self-adjusting processes of erosion and sedimentation, the researchers said. When not stressed by extreme events like flooding or drought, these responses typically allow rivers to absorb change. However, data from many new studies now suggest that the world's great waterways are becoming more vulnerable as the effects of human activity and climate change combine and compound.
"Climate change is of huge importance in terms of changing flood or drought frequency and intensity," Best said. "However, there is a range of other stressors affecting big rivers such as damming, sediment mining, pollution, water diversions, groundwater extraction and the introduction of nonnative species -- all of which affect rivers on a timescale that has much more immediate consequences."
For example, the team reviewed past research on the drivers of flooding in the Mekong River Delta in Southeast Asia, which supports about 18 million people and a vast rice agricultural area. These studies suggest that delta subsidence -- or sinking -- because of groundwater extraction beneath the delta is now more of a problem, as the region receives far less sediment because of sediment trapping behind upstream dams and large-scale mining of sand from the bed of the delta's channels.
"The scale of the effects of sediment starvation and subsidence in driving increased flood risk is currently far greater than sea-level rise generated by global climate change," Best said. "But when all of these pressures are combined, there is now a real risk that we could cross a major tipping point in the next 10-20 years."
Politics also play a significant role in the health and resiliency of the world's major river systems, the paper reports. For example, the current COVID-19 pandemic is influencing regulatory enforcement of pollution monitoring in the United States, enabling polluters to avoid penalties if they argue violations are a result of the pandemic.
"We have seen evidence of the effect of these types of political and societal shocks on river systems in the past, too," Best said. "The stresses from the Gulf War led to increased river pollution in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin, a situation that was also compounded by upstream damming in Turkey."
The researchers stress an urgent need for governance at the local level across to the international level to confront these issues effectively.
"There are some things we as scientists can do on the monitoring end of this issue, but it will demand collaboration and trust between nations for it to make a difference," Best said. "We can't take our eye off the ball -- we've just got to devote more attention to these more frequent, shorter-timescale stressors. It's far from being just about climate change."

Story Source:
Materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. Original written by Lois Yoksoulian. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
  1. Jim Best, Stephen E. Darby. The Pace of Human-Induced Change in Large Rivers: Stresses, Resilience, and Vulnerability to Extreme Events. One Earth, 2020; 2 (6): 510 DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2020.05.021

Cite This Page:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. "Human activity on rivers outpaces, compounds effects of climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200619115723.htm>

Price hike of rice: Why?  

Published: June 19, 2020 22:30:48

Description: Price hike of rice: Why?   
That rice market often gets fidgety in the country is nothing uncommon. What is unusual about the price hike of the staple now is that it happens right at a time when farmers have just completed a record harvest of boro paddy. In March before the onset of the harvesting season, rice registered unreasonable price hikes despite no shortage of this primary food item in the market. Flimsy excuses were put forward by millers then to justify price increase of Tk 4.0-6.0 a kilogram of rice depending on their varieties. This time also rice has registered price increase of Tk 4.0 to 6.50 at the retail level.
What is the excuse this time for the sudden price spike that has caught poor and middle-income consumers -the majority of whom have experienced unprecedented loss or erosion of income on account of the pandemic-induced shutdown -off guard? This time the argument is that the government's procurement price has compelled millers to purchase paddy at Tk 1,000 a maund (37.32 kg) from farmers. From one maund, 24 kg rice is available and, according to them, price of a kilogram of rice, when husked, comes to Tk 41.50. Add to this Tk 2.0 as carrying cost, the price of one kilogram of rice comes to Tk 43.50. This claim is refuted by food experts who argue that the price should be within the range of Tk 36-39. The same rice is sold at Tk 49 at the mill gate. Thus the millers are unwilling to supply the 1.0 million tonnes of rice at Tk 36 a kilo to the government as agreed. At the retail level after exchange of a few hands, a kilogram of rice now sells at Tk 52-60 depending on their coarse and finer varieties. Their claim that transport cost has gone up on account of coronavirus no longer holds. In fact, transport owners and operators are in competition to make up the losses incurred during the long lay-off.
Clearly, the answer to the abnormal price hike lies in the profit margin the millers have set aside for themselves. How much profit they should garner from a kilogram of rice? It should not be more than Tk2.0-3.0. In that case, a kilogram of rice should not cost more than Tk 45-46 at the mill gate. At the retail level a kilogram of it should have been available at well below Tk 50. Unfortunately, the millers, middlemen and wholesale traders here are used to manoeuvring the entire process of procurement and marketing of the staple in order to ensure a hefty profit for them. Even in time of coronavirus pandemic they feel no qualms for taking undue advantage of people in distress.
It seems the millers are exerting a pressure on the government not to what they might term 'interfere' with the trading system of food grains. Before this harvest, they could deprive farmers of their rightful share in paddy price. For some years cultivators were compelled to sell their produce, incurring losses. The government's half-hearted procurement drive proved futile to give farmers the benefit farmers deserved. This year it has become incumbent on the government to ensure that the country faces no shortage of the primary food in the first place and for their performance in cultivation of a bumper crop farmers are amply rewarded. Millers, traders and middlemen are unlikely to take it easy. But, now is the time to monitor the market and take stringent measures against market manipulators for rationalising the rice price.   

Four people arrested over corruption in Sindh Food department: sources

Web Desk On Jun 19, 2020
Description: four arrest sindh food department
SUKKUR: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has arrested four flour millers over corruption charges in the Sindh Food department, ARY News reported on Friday, citing sources.
The arrested persons were identified as Kailash Kumar, Sachanand, Vikra Lal and Sarwar Meerani. The suspects are accused of not paying payment of the wheat, they bought from the government’s wheat downs.
The suspects would be presented before an accountability court for the remand, sources familiar with the development said.
Last month, a wheat godown was raided by local law enforcement in Matiari, Sindh.
According to details, 50,000 sacks of wheat illegally stored in the establishment were found and confiscated.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police and the owner of the godown also exchanged harsh words during the raid.
Additional police was called in after things got heated and the godown was sealed till further notice.
Earlier on May 12, as many as 60,000 wheat sacks were recovered in various raids conducted in Khairpur’s Tehsil of Naro in Sindh.

No rice imports sans Duterte’s authorization

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, Philippine News Agency on June 18, 2020


Description: http://www.canadianinquirer.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/10299131_471559703029890_2433165988824374640_n.jpgHowever, Duterte also emphasized how the importation of rice was necessary to keep the country’s supply of rice stable. (File Photo: National Food Authority/Facebook)
MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its attached corporation, the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), will only import rice once it gets the nod of President Rodrigo Duterte, MalacaƱang said on Thursday.
In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque ensured that rice importation would only proceed when Duterte gives his approval.
“Hindi po magi-import [ng rice] ang DTI, PITC ng walang proper authorization galing kay Presidente Duterte (The DTI and PITC will not import rice without proper authorization from President Duterte),” Roque said.
The Inter-Agency for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases authorized the PITC in March to import 300,000 metric tons (MT) of rice.
The government has allocated a PHP7.45-billion fund for the PITC’s 300-MT rice importation through a government-to-government transaction to boost the country’s staple stocks during the lean months.
On Monday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the PITC has no legal authority to import 300 MT of rice.
The DBM added that funds could not be released without a formal instruction from Duterte.
Under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, the government is only allowed to import rice “in the event of a rice supply shortage” and upon the issuance of an official directive from the President.
The government, however, has not declared any shortage in rice supply.
The DBM’s pronouncement prompted the PITC to hold in abeyance the issuance of notice of award to prospective rice suppliers to the country pending the availability of funds.
Last week, the PITC held the bidding for rice imports with the governments of India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar through video communications application Zoom.
Roque said the PITC had already asked Duterte to approve the plan to import rice.
“Walang Notice of Award na napa-issue po ang PITC without authorization from the President. Nag-submit na po ng request sa Office of the President (There’s no notice of award that has been issued by PITC without authorization from the President. It has already submitted a request from the Office of the President),” he said.

Rice production expected to improve in 2020-21


Description: https://d3pbdxdl8c65wb.cloudfront.net/cloudinary/2020/Jun/19/ssX24FaPgOCIEKVuJ9Qr.jpg
Rice production is expected to increase in 2020-21 as Australian-grown rice is on track to run out completely by the end of the year.
Australia's rice crop is expected to increase by more than four times in 2020-21, with a return to average seasonal conditions and a fall in water prices expected in the next 12 months.
With SunRice chairman Laurie Arthur admitting in May the country would run out of Australian-grown rice by December, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ rice markets report will provide some good news for growers, who could only manage 57 000 tonnes in 2019-20.

From Field to Orchard

Description: From Field to Orchard
https://kashmirreader.com/2020/06/19/from-field-to-orchard/

RPT-Asia Rice-India prices hit over 2-month low on weaker rupee, muted demand

JUNE 19, 2020 / 6:31 AM /

(Repeats story sent on June 18 with no changes to text)
* Vietnamese prices ease from 8-year high
* Thai rates still most expensive
* Bangladesh stocks could fall due to pandemic
By Shreyansi Singh
BENGALURU, June 18 (Reuters) - Indian export rice prices fell to their lowest in more than two months this week due to a weaker rupee and muted demand, while mounting supplies from an ongoing harvest weighed on Vietnamese rates.
Top exporter India saw rates for its 5% broken parboiled variety RI-INBKN5-P1 fall to $366-$372 per tonne, the lowest since March 26, from $368-$373 last week.
The rupee has fallen more than 6% this year, prompting exporters to cut rates.
“Even after lowering prices, there is no improvement in demand,” said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
India’s rice production could surge to a record as farmers are expanding the area under paddy because of good monsoon rains.
Demand weakened for Vietnam rice as well, with rates for the country’s 5% broken rice RI-VNBKN5-P1 slipping to $450 per tonne, the lowest in nearly two months. Prices had hit an eight-year high of $475 on June 4 as rains hampered harvest.
“Demand from foreign buyers has weakened this week,” a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.
Domestic supplies are building up amid the summer-autumn harvest, other traders said, adding that Vietnam could export 2.3-2.5 million tonnes from the harvest after securing enough for local consumption.
Prices of Thailand’s benchmark 5% broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 eased to $505-$525 a tonne on Thursday, from $505-$533 last week, with traders attributing the slip to a stronger Baht.
“Demand remains flat because our prices are higher than India and Vietnam,” said a Bangkok-based rice trader.
Concerns over supply lingered after a drought hampered production earlier this year.
“More rains this monsoon season will vastly improve supply, but the market is still slightly concerned, hence the high prices,” another rice trader said.
Stocks in Bangladesh, the world’s fourth-biggest rice producer, will likely fall by 8.33% in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, threatening food security, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said earlier this month. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in Mumbai, Ruma Paul in Dhaka, Khanh Vu in Hanoi and Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

India Rice Prices Hit Over 2-Month Low On Muted Demand, Weaker Rupee

Published on Jun 19 2020 11:39 AM in Supply Chain tagged: Trending Posts / Rice / India / Export Prices

Indian export rice prices fell to their lowest in more than two months this week due to a weaker rupee and muted demand, while mounting supplies from an ongoing harvest weighed on Vietnamese rates.
Top exporter India saw rates for its 5% broken parboiled variety fall to $366-$372 per tonne, the lowest since 26 March, from $368-$373 last week.
The rupee has fallen more than 6% this year, prompting exporters to cut rates.

'No Improvement In Demand'

"Even after lowering prices, there is no improvement in demand," said an exporter based at Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
India's rice production could surge to a record as farmers are expanding the area under paddy because of good monsoon rains.
Demand weakened for Vietnam rice as well, with rates for the country's 5% broken rice slipping to $450 per tonne, the lowest in nearly two months. Prices had hit an eight-year high of $475 on 4 June as rains hampered harvest.
"Demand from foreign buyers has weakened this week," a trader based in Ho Chi Minh City said.

Build Up In Domestic Supplies

Domestic supplies are building up amid the summer-autumn harvest, other traders said, adding that Vietnam could export 2.3-2.5 million tonnes from the harvest after securing enough for local consumption.
Prices of Thailand's benchmark 5% broken rice eased to $505-$525 a tonne on Thursday, from $505-$533 last week, with traders attributing the slip to a stronger Baht.
"Demand remains flat because our prices are higher than India and Vietnam," said a Bangkok-based rice trader.
Concerns over supply lingered after a drought hampered production earlier this year.
"More rains this monsoon season will vastly improve supply, but the market is still slightly concerned, hence the high prices," another rice trader said.
Stocks in Bangladesh, the world's fourth-biggest rice producer, will likely fall by 8.33% in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, threatening food security, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said earlier this month.

India’s rice output could hit record as farmers expand area

12:00 AM, June 19, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:12 AM, June 19, 2020

 


Description: https://assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net/sites/default/files/styles/very_big_1/public/feature/images/indias-rice-output.jpg?itok=jX2KrP2N
Farmers plant saplings in a rice field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. Photo: Reuters/ File
Reuters, Mumbai
India's rice production is likely to surge to a record high as farmers are expanding the area under paddy because of good monsoon rains and after the government raised the price at which it will buy the new-season crop.
Higher output by the world's biggest rice exporter could dampen domestic prices and make exports more competitive, compensating for lower supplies from rivals Thailand and Vietnam. It could also force India's state-run agencies to ramp up purchases from farmers even as inventories are bulging.
"Farmers are interested in rice. They are likely to expand area due to government support. In the new marketing year, we could produce as much as 120 million tonnes," said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of India's Rice Exporters Association.
The government raised the price at which it will buy new-season rice from farmers by 2.9 per cent. India, which produced a record 117.94 million tonnes of rice in 2019/20, has started planting the summer-sown crop as the monsoon has spread to main rice-growing areas in the south and east.
The good monsoon rain and rising exports due to a rally in global prices have been encouraging Indian farmers to plant more rice, said Nitin Gupta, vice president for Olam India's rice business.
Rice prices in Thailand and Vietnam, the second and third biggest exporter of the grain respectively, hit multi-year highs this year due to limited supplies. Unlike its competitors, India has a massive surplus for export and it will get bigger in the new season, Gupta said.
State-run agencies were holding 27.4 million tonnes of rice and another 21 million tonnes of un-milled paddy, according to the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI).
But another record harvest could dampen domestic prices and force the FCI to buy nearly half of the output from farmers, said Rao.



India's rice production seen rising

A man walks in a filed covered with rice saplings at Kullan village in Kashmir's Ganderbal district, India, on Thursday. (Reuters photo) Description: A man walks in a filed covered with rice saplings at Kullan village in Kashmir's Ganderbal district, India, on Thursday. (Reuters photo)
MUMBAI: India's rice production is likely to surge to a record high as farmers are expanding the area under paddy because of good monsoon rains and after the government raised the price at which it will buy the new-season crop.
Higher output by the world's biggest rice exporter could dampen domestic prices and make exports more competitive, compensating for lower supplies from rivals Thailand and Vietnam.
It could also force India's state-run agencies to ramp up purchases from farmers even as inventories are bulging.
"Farmers are interested in rice. They are likely to expand area due to government support. In the new marketing year, we could produce as much as 120 million tonnes," said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of India's Rice Exporters Association.
The government raised the price at which it will buy new-season rice from farmers by 2.9%.
India, which produced a record 117.94 million tonnes of rice in 2019/20, has started planting the summer-sown crop as the monsoon has spread to main rice-growing areas in the south and east.
"The good monsoon rain and rising exports due to a rally in global prices have been encouraging Indian farmers to plant more rice,'' said Nitin Gupta, vice president for Olam India's rice business.
Rice prices in Thailand and Vietnam, the second- and third-biggest exporter of the grain respectively, hit multi-year highs this year due to limited supplies.
"Unlike its competitors, India has a massive surplus for export and it will get bigger in the new season,'' Gupta said.
State-run agencies were holding 27.4 million tonnes of rice and another 21 million tonnes of un-milled paddy, according to the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI).
But another record harvest could dampen domestic prices and force the FCI to buy nearly half of the output from farmers, said Rao.
Rice prices up 

 Yasir Wardad | Published:  June 19, 2020 09:40:40

Description: File photo (collected)File photo (collected)
The prices of all kinds of rice went up in the city market last week adding to woes of the consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prices of most rice varieties increased by Tk 3.0-4.0 per kilogram in last seven days.
Coarse rice like Swarna, BR-11 and hybrid varieties showed a Tk 3.0 hike as sold at Tk 40-46 a kg in the city market on Thursday.
Medium quality Brrridhan-28, Paijam, Lota were retailed at Tk 47-52 a kg while finer rice Miniket, Jeerashail, and Najirshail at Tk 56-70 a kg on the day.
The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded a 4.0-6.4 per cent hike in rice prices in last seven days.
Traders said high price of Boro paddy has been causing a surge in rice prices even during this peak Boro paddy harvesting season.
Market experts, however, put emphasis on strict market monitoring to prevent any unusual hike in major staple during this pandemic.
Mohammad Asadullah, a Badamtoli- based rice trader in the city, said all kinds of rice witnessed a hike of Tk 100-120 per 50-kg sack at mill gates in last one and a half weeks.
"Our sources from milling hubs said prices might rise further," he added.
Md Hazrat Ali, a Nilphamari-based trader, said paddy prices have been rising for last few weeks despite having good harvest which impacted rice prices.
Brridhan-28 paddy was selling at Tk 800 a maund which was maximum Tk 650 a maund last year, he added.
"Big millers and traders are also in a hurry to store paddy as much as they can due to the pandemic."
Hybrid (milled) rice was selling at Tk 34-34.5 a kg while other coarse varieties like Swarna, BR-11 at Tk 35-36 a kg, Mr. Hazratadded.
He said seasonal finer rice Miniket was wholesaled at Tk 50-56 a kg at mill-gates in Nilphamari and Dinajpur on Thursday depending on its quality.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said the government should reinforce its mobile teams in the rice market soon.
The current situation in the rice market is unusual he said, adding that the government should procure rice or paddy as much as it can to tackle any market upheaval like that of 2017.
And statistical agencies must have to deliver most authentic data on production and demand for the staple, he added.
However, the government could buy only 0.18 million tonnes of rice and paddy in last two months out of its 1.95 million tonnes of target during this Boro season, according to the Directorate General of Food (DGoF).
Now the public warehouses have a stock of 0.85 million tonnes of rice which was 1.35 million tonnes in March.
The government is expecting 20.04 million tonnes of rice output from this Boro season.
However, prices of broiler chicken, ginger, few vegetables and potato also increased last week.
tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com
                                                  https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/rice-prices-up-1592538040

Thai govt to give rice farmers 100 billion baht in subsidies

·         ASEANPLUS NEWS 
·         Friday, 19 Jun 2020
9:49 AM MYT

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): The National Rice Policy Committee has earmarked about Bt100 billion to provide subsidies for rice farmers for the 2020-2021 crop year.
Ratchada Thanadirek, deputy government spokesperson, said the committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed in principle to provide subsidies to rice farmers from Sept 1 to May 31,2021.
Initially the government will launch the rice-production enhancement project, under which each farming family will be granted Bt1,000 per rai, limited at 20 rai.
About 4 million families will get financial aid worth a total of Bt56 billion. This subsidy has been increased from last year’s Bt500 per rai offer, she told the press after the meeting on Thursday (June 18).
The next step will be providing financial aid to delay the release of 7 million tonnes of paddy rice in the market in a move to shore up the price, which usually drops when large amounts of paddy flows into the market in the beginning of the harvest season. This is estimated to cost a total of Bt36 billion, of which Bt30.3 billion will be spent on loans and Bt5.7 billion in cash transfers.
Rice traders who stockpile rice, will also get a 3 per cent subsidy on interest rates, which will cost the government a total of Bt610 million.
The third step will be organising rice marketplaces worth about Bt2.8 billion, she said.
The government is also planning to set aside Bt2.34 billion for the income-guarantee programme, though some members of the committee are proposing an extra Bt2 billion spending on this scheme, so the new proposal will be submitted later.
Farmers will also be paid the difference between the market price and reference price set by the government.
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Prapat Phothasuthon said some farmers did not benefit from the income guarantee last year, and that is why the government may need to spend an extra Bt2 billion on this scheme.
The government last year offered a price guarantee of Bt15,000 per tonne for fragrant rice, Bt14,000 for fragrant rice outside designated areas, Bt10,000 for ordinary rice and Bt12,000 for glutinous rice.Rice production globally for the 2020-2021 crop year is likely to rise by 8.1 million tonnes to 501.96 million tonnes.
While global rice stock will rise by 3.83 million tonnes to 184.18 million tonnes. The largest stock is held by China, followed by India and Thailand.
So far, Thailand has exported 2.5 million tonnes of white rice, far from the targeted Bt7.5 million tonnes in the second quarter. - The Nation/Asia News Network
TAGS / KEYWORDS:Thailand , Rice Farmers , Subsidy


Rice price scheme renewed

Committee approves guarantee into 2021
PUBLISHED : 19 JUN 2020 AT 04:08
NEWSPAPER SECTION: BUSINESS
Description: Rice varieties sold in Pathum Thani. The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark. Apichit JinakulRice varieties sold in Pathum Thani. The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark. Apichit Jinakul
The National Rice Policy Committee approved in principle on Thursday the rice price guarantee scheme for the 2020/21 crop year, which is expected to use a budget of 85.2 billion baht.
Of the 85.2 billion baht, 23.5 billion is allotted to price guarantees, with 56 billion allocated to support management and quality development costs for farmers, and 5.72 billion subsidising the interest rate for loans extended to stabilise domestic rice prices.
Rachada Dhanadirek, a deputy government spokesperson, said the annual 2020/21 scheme will be implemented between Sept 1 this year to May 31, 2021.
The guaranteed price will be decided on at the next meeting of the committee. However, she said the price is likely to be on par with what the scheme used in the previous season.
The scheme covers five main types of rice: white rice paddy with 15% moisture, hom mali rice paddy, fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture, glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture and provincial fragrant rice paddy.The rice price guarantee offers compensation if market prices fall below the benchmark.
Under the scheme in the previous season, farmers were offered 10,000 baht per tonne for white rice paddy with 15% moisture, limited to 30 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
The guaranteed prices were set at 15,000 baht a tonne for Thai hom mali rice paddy, limited to 14 tonnes per family or 40 rai; 11,000 baht per tonne of fragrant Pathum Thani rice paddy with 15% moisture for a limit of 25 tonnes per family or 40 rai; 12,000 baht a tonne for glutinous rice paddy with 15% moisture, with a limit of 16 tonnes or 40 rai; and 14,000 baht a tonne for provincial fragrant rice paddy, with a limit of 16 tonnes per family or 40 rai.
Ms Rachada said the committee also endorsed in principle measures to stabilise the domestic rice price, with a target of 7 million tonnes of paddy, offering 36 billion baht in loans.
The loan scheme will cover farmers who agree to delay their paddy, agricultural cooperatives who agree to gather rice and add value to the grain, and the 3% interest rate subsidy programme for rice traders who agree to hold their stocks for about 2-6 months.
The loan scheme for farmers who agree to delay paddy sales will cost an estimated 19.8 billion baht, and the loan scheme for agricultural cooperatives to gather rice and add value to rice will cost 15.6 billion.
The 3% interest rate subsidy programme for rice traders is estimated to cost the government 610 million baht.
According to Ms Rachada, the committee also approved in principle 1,000 baht per rai per rice farmer family with a limit of 20 rai or 20,000 baht per family, aiming to assist 4.31 million families.This scheme is estimated to cost some 56 billion baht.

  Cambodia predicted to export 800,000 tonnes of rice in 2020
A vendor piles sacks of rice for sale in Phnom Penh (Photo: AP)

Cambodia predicted to export 800,000 tonnes of rice in 2020

By  VNA
Cambodia’s rice exports are expected to reach 800,000 tonnes in 2020, an estimated rise of 29 percent compared to 2019, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.
It quoted Ngin Chhay, an official from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as saying that his country had seen a remarkable increase in rice exports in the first five months of this year due to high demand from the international market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Southeast Asian nation exported a total of 356,097 tonnes of rice to 54 countries and territories around the world during the January-May period, up 42 percent over the same period last year.


Developing agriculture

Agriculture is considered the backbone of Pakistan's economy, which relies heavily on its major crops. There are vast gaps between the acquired and actual output of produce, which suffers due to lack of appropriate technology, use of inputs at improper times, unavailability of water and land use and inadequate education about insect pest control, which not only negatively affects produce but also significantly reduces the amount of produce. Farmers mainly use synthetic chemicals for the control of insect pests, but these are used unwisely.
To emphasize the major shortfalls and actual performance of major field crops, a study investigated the relationship between agricultural GDP and the output of major crops, including wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and cotton, in Pakistan over a period of 65 years from 1950 to 2015. Time series data were collected from the Economic Survey of Pakistan (various publications). Crop data were analysed using the ordinary least square method and the Augmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) test, and the results were interpreted using Johansen's co-integration test. The study found that the output of wheat, rice and cotton has a positive and significant relationship with the agricultural GDP of Pakistan, while the output of sugarcane has a negative and non-significant relationship with the agricultural GDP of Pakistan. Therefore, I recommend that the government of Pakistan should launch new funding programmes for the development of the agricultural sector.
Taimoor Bashir Herl



Pakistan’s rice exports may surpass 4 million tonnes in FY20

With more orders during Covid-19, basmati exports surge 42.6pc in 11MFY20

Description: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/19-696x435.jpeg
LAHORE: Amid Covid-19 pandemic, food security has become the first priority across the globe, cashing on which Pakistan is likely to achieve the highest volume of rice exports (4 million tonnes) in FY20.
This was stated by Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Chairman Shahjahan Malik in an exclusive chat with Profit.
He informed that Pakistan’s basmati exports rose 12.88pc to 92,454 tonnes in May 2020, as compared to 81,902 tonnes in the same month of last year.
Cumulatively, in the 11 months (July-19 to May-20) of this fiscal year, basmati rice exports witnessed a phenomenal increase of 42.59pc, from 597,639 tonnes during the 11 months of last fiscal to 852,177 tonnes during the period under review.
However, Malik shared, the country’s non-basmati exports in 11MFY20 remained lower by 200,000 tonnes when compared with last year.
“Overall, in this fiscal year, our rice exports will cross 4 million tonnes.”
He said that FY20 has been a satisfactory year for the country’s basmati rice exporters, as Pakistan, for the first time in history, achieved the milestone of over 100,000 tonnes of basmati exports in a month (109,140 tonnes of basmati rice were exported in April alone).
“We could have touched the magical figure of 1 million tonnes of basmati rice exports had the Pakistani rice was not more expensive than India; Indian rice is cheaper by $40/60 per tonne for C1121 steamed rice. Our overall basmati exports will be around 920,000 tonnes in FY20, much better than our last year’s exports of over 600,000 tonnes.”   
Malik informed that domestic as well as international demand had spiked due to panic buying amid Covid-19, owing to which Pakistan’s exports to European Union (EU) and GCC region countries increased.
“The country’s overall rice exports are currently hovering around $2.2 billion and the government and the exporters are trying to take it up to $5 billion by 2023,” he maintained.
LOCUST THREAT
Malik noted that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation had recently warned of the second locust attack in Pakistan in July this year.
“As cultivation of paddy rice initiated recently in Pakistan, the crop will be in flowering stage in Sindh and south Punjab during July and this poses a huge threat to the country’s rice crop,” he said. “So, the department of plant protection, which falls under the Ministry of National Food Security, must ensure aerial spray and other measures. However, with only one aeroplane in working condition, this seems highly unlikely.”
Meanwhile, talking to this scribe, Muntazir Mehdi, a rice farmer from Chakwal, requested also the food security department to safeguard his rice crop from the swarms of locusts, as this was his only source of income.
“We have been hearing from experts that locusts’ swarms would be four times bigger this time around…so we urge the prime minister to order timely measures in order to save our crops from the wrath of locusts,” he added. 

Cambodia's rice exports expected to hit 800,000 tons in 2020 due to high demand during Covid-19

·         ASEANPLUS NEWS 
·         Friday, 19 Jun 2020
5:45 PM MYT
PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): Cambodia's milled rice exports to the international market are expected to reach 800,000 tonnes in 2020, an estimated rise of 29 per cent from 620,106 tonness last year, a senior agriculture official have announced.

Ngin Chhay, director general of agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the kingdom had seen a remarkable increase in rice exports in the first five months of this year due to high demand from the international market as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the South-East Asian nation exported a total of 356,097 tons of milled rice to 54 countries and regions during the January-May period this year, up 42 percent over the same period last year.

China and Europe were the biggest buyers of Cambodia's milled rice during the first five months of this year, the official said, adding that the country shipped 136,825 tons of milled rice to China, up 25 per cent, and 122,010 tons to Europe, up 51 per cent.

"Based on the figures in the first five months of this year, we expect that Cambodia's milled rice exports to the international market will hit at least 800,000 tons in 2020," Chhay said in a press conference in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia produced about 10 million tons of paddy rice last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

With this amount, the kingdom saw paddy rice surplus of about 5.6 million tons in equivalent to 3.5 million tons of milled rice. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
TAGS / KEYWORDS:Cambodia , Rice Exports , Rising

TN seeks release of pending milled rice subsidy from Centr

 8 JUNE 2020  Last Updated at 6:56 PM | SOURCE: PTI


Chennai, June 18 (PTI): Tamil Nadu has asked the Centre to release the pending custom milled rice (CMR) subsidy of Rs 2,609 crore to facilitate paddy procurement from farmers, state Minister R Kamaraj said on Thursday. The Minister for food and civil supplies, who interacted through a video conference with the Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan from the Secretariat here, said the Central government would be ready to roll out the ''One Nation, One Card Scheme'' in Tamil Nadu by September. "The subsidy of Rs 2,609 crore is pending for release from the Centre. We request the amount to be immediately released to facilitate the paddy procurement from the farmers," Kamaraj said in a speech copy released to the media. The Minister recalled the Chief Minister K Palaniswami''s letter to Paswan on June 12 for extension of free supply of rice and pulses to all cardholders in the state till September. "To mitigate the sufferings of the people during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Chief Minister has also announced distribution of Rs 1,000 in cash to all rice cardholders, amounting to Rs 218.35 crore," he said. On the rollout of ''One Nation, One Card Scheme'', he said 99.72 per cent of the beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS) have already been Aadhaar seeded. The government has issued orders sanctioning Rs 38 crore to upgrade the e-point of sales devices in all the 34,773 PDS shops with procurement and installation of biometric devices. Integration of the system would be completed by September for onboarding ''One Nation, One Card Scheme'' and the government would be ready by September, he added. PTI VIJ NVG NVG

Covid-19 demand for milled rice could mean record exports

Hin Pisei | Publication date 18 June 2020 | 21:16 ICT
 Description: C:\Users\abc\Downloads\cambodia_exported_356097_tonnes_of_milled_rice_in_the_first_five_months_of_the_year._heng_chivoan.jpg
Cambodia exported 356,097 tonnes of milled rice in the first five months of the year. Heng Chivoan
Cambodia could export between 800,000 and one million tonnes of milled rice this year, buoyed by sustained demand stemming from Covid-19 uncertainty, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries senior official Ngin Chhay said on Wednesday.
Chhay, the director-general of the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, told a press conference that the Kingdom exported 350,000 tonnes of rice in the first five months of the year, to more than 60 countries.
He said: “I hope that this year, according to estimates, rice exports may near the one million tonne mark if the orders retain their momentum, or at least exceed 800,000 tonnes.”
At the same time, Chhay urged farmers, investors and exporters to work together to ensure that the Kingdom’s products meet quality standards to maintain existing markets and secure new ones.
The ministry’s Secretariat of One Window Service for Rice Export Formality reported that milled-rice exports to the international market in the first five months of this year skyrocketed 42.34 per cent to 356,097 tonnes from 250,172 tonnes during the same period last year.
The European market accounted for 122,010 tonnes, up 51.10 per cent year-on-year from 80,749 tonnes, the Chinese market 136,825 tonnes, up 25.26 per cent, ASEAN countries 45,825 tonnes, up 45.39 per cent, and other destinations 51,437 tonnes, up 79.40 per cent.
Fragrant rice accounted for 289,287 tonnes, or 81.24 per cent, white long-grain rice 62,779 tonnes and long-grain parboiled rice 4,031 tonnes.
Last month alone, rice exports reached 55,845 tonnes, an increase of 53.38 per cent compared to May last year, of which 51,683 tonnes was fragrant rice, 3,578 tonnes was white long-grain rice and 584 tonnes was long-grain parboiled rice.
Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) board chairman Hun Lak said milled-rice exports showed remarkable performance in the first five months this year compared to last year.
He attributed this to two main factors – increased domestic production and expanding stockpiles worldwide in response to the pandemic.
Lak said: “Looking at data over the past five months, Cambodian milled-rice exports will be no less than 800,000 tonnes, but everything depends on the outcome of the auctions.
“If everything runs as smoothly as it is now, then exports will hit the one million tonne target as predicted.”
CRF secretary-general Lun Yeng told The Post that Cambodia is now capable of exporting milled-rice in excess of one million tonnes per year as paddy production continues to grow gradually.
The surge in exports, especially of fragrant rice, will generate more revenue for the Kingdom, he said.
“But I would not be so bold as to formulate an estimate of how much money we would bring in, as prices are subject to fluctuation. I do, however, expect we’ll make more than last year,” said Yeng.
Cambodia’s premium-grade fragrant rice sells for $920 per tonne on the international market, while standard-grade fragrant rice fetches $830 and standard-grade white rice goes for $550, he said.
Premium-grade fragrant rice accounts for more than 80 per cent of Cambodia’s total rice exports.
The government originally pledged in August 2010 to export one million tonnes of rice by 2015.
But the Kingdom exported 387,000 tonnes of milled rice in 2014, 538,396 tonnes in 2015, 542,144 tonnes in 2016, 635,679 tonnes in 2017, 626,225 tonnes in 2018 and 620,106 tonnes last year, CRF data show.
The Kingdom’s 2019 milled-rice exports were worth about $501 million, down 4.3 per cent compared to $524 million in 2018.


CHENNAI, JUNE 19, 2020 02:46 IST

UPDATED: JUNE 19, 2020 02:46 IST
The State government has written to the Centre seeking further free supply of rice and pulses to all ration cardholders in the State from July to September. During a video-conference meeting, Food Minister R. Kamaraj urged the Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution to release the supply at the earliest. An official release said he recalled that the Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had on June 12 written to the Centre in this regard.
Tamil Nadu also sought immediate disbursal of the due Custom Milled Rice (CMR) subsidy of 2,609 crore to facilitate paddy procurement from farmers.
About 99.72% of Public Distribution System beneficiaries have already been Aadhaar seeded, it said.
As orders were issued sanctioning 38 crore for the upgrading of E-PoS devices in all the 34,773 PDS shops, system integrators would be able to complete work by September 2020 for going onboard ‘One Nation One Card Scheme’ by September this year.


Food Minister: Govt to procure rice at previously fixed rates
·       Published at 09:12 pm June 17th, 2020
Description: web-food-minister-Sadhan-Chandra-Majumder-collected
File photo of Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder Collected
The minister came up with the remarks at a meeting via video conference with Barisal division officials in the morning, reports UNB
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Wednesday said that the government would procure rice or paddy at rates previously announced by the government and the prices would not be hiked.
The minister came up with the remarks at a meeting via video conference with Barisal division officials in the morning, reports UNB.
Farmers are getting proper price due to bumper yield of Boro crops under the monitoring and direction of the government, he said, adding: “Procurement should be sped up to maintain the market price.”
Legal action will be taken against any kind of irregularities in procuring the rice and paddy, he warned.
Requesting mill owners, Majumder said it is time to help people during coronavirus and step forward with an attitude of providing service.
This year’s procurement must be farmer-friendly and zero tolerance will be shown over the standard, the minister said, adding that no farmer should sell their production to middle-men or syndicates.
Directorate General of Food, Additional Directorate General, commissioner of Barisal Division, Regional Food controller, deputy commissioners of Barisal, Pirojpur, Barguna, Jhalakathi, Bhola, and Patuakhali districts were present at the video conference meeting.

New World, New Promotions   

ARLINGTON, VA -- As people all over the world are changing how they work, play, and consume, USA Rice is conducting similar changes in the organization's international marketing programs.  Meetings with importers and utilizers of U.S. rice are happening virtually, rather than in person, and most of the consumer-facing promotions have transitioned to social media as social distancing restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis are still in effect in many countries.

Other changes include taking a step back and using this time to conduct additional research on rice.

"In Mexico, we are commencing nutraceutical research, which means determining the health benefits of rice in addition to its basic nutritional value, to help create messaging that resonates with health-conscious consumers," said Asiha Grigsby, director of international promotion for the Western Hemisphere.  "And in Canada, we are looking to develop consumer surveys to determine how purchasing behavior has changed over the past year."

"In Taiwan we are conducting research on cooking attributes of various types of U.S. rice to share with the foodservice industry," said Jim Guinn, director of Asia promotion programs.  "The humanitarian aspects of our promotions are also important, as we show appreciation for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.  We are now working on a second event in Singapore, delivering bento boxes to hospital workers and other unsung heroes."

"Many retail sectors are seeing significant increases in their online sales platforms," said Eszter Somogyi, director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.  "We're reaching out to U.S. rice importers in several markets to develop marketing materials and activities that can help U.S. rice sales in this arena."

The only constant in life is change and USA Rice is working to ensure our overseas activities are evolving to remain effective in increasing sales of U.S. rice and are relevant in the current environment. 

The U.S. has exported more than 1.1 million tons in the first four months of 2020, valued at $655 million - a 5 percent increase in volume from 2019 and a 10 percent increase in value.
USA Rice Daily

Once Thought to Have No Function, “Dark Matter” DNA Is Vital for Rice Reproduction

Description: Pistil Abnormalities
The pistils in mutant strains contain a higher number of stigmas — the part of the pistil that collects pollen — than in wildtype strains. Yellow bars indicate 1mm. Credit: OIST
Regions of DNA that give rise to non-coding RNA are required for proper development of plant reproductive organs.
Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have shed light on the reproductive role of ‘dark matter’ DNA — non-coding DNA sequences that previously seemed to have no function.
Their findings, published today (June 19, 2020) in Nature Communications, have revealed that a specific non-coding genomic region is essential for the proper development of the male and female reproductive organs in rice.
“Rice is one of the major global crops and is the staple food in many countries, including Japan,” said Dr. Reina Komiya, senior author of the research paper and associate researcher from the OIST Science and Technology Group. “Further research into how these genomic regions affect plant reproduction could potentially lead to increased productivity and more stable yields of rice.”
Description: Proposed Mechanism microRNA2118
MicroRNA2118 targets over 1000 long non-coding RNAs for cleavage to produce many secondary uracil-rich small RNAs, which is possibly aided by Argonaute. These secondary small RNAs then may interact with Argonaute to regulate development of reproductive organs. Credit: OIST
Many previous developmental studies have focused on genes — the sections of DNA that provide instructions for making proteins. But in complex creatures like plants and animals, a large fraction of the genome — typically between 90-98% — doesn’t actually code for proteins.
The vast expanse of this ‘junk DNA’ has long puzzled biologists, with many dubbing it the ‘dark matter’ of the genome. But recent research suggests that many of these non-coding genomic regions may have a function after all, giving rise to non-coding RNA.
Scientists have now identified numerous types of non-coding RNA, ranging from small molecules only 20-30 nucleotide bases in length to long molecules of over 200 nucleotides. Although studies show that non-coding RNA plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression — the process where a gene’s instructions are used to make RNA or protein — the precise function of each specific non-coding RNA remains poorly understood.
Dr. Komiya is particularly interested in reproduction-specific RNAs. “These are non-coding RNAs that are produced as the reproductive system forms. I wanted to uncover what role they play in the development of stamens and pistils, the male and female reproductive organs in plants.”

Making mutants

In the study, Dr. Komiya’s group focused on a reproduction-specific microRNA — a major class of small non-coding RNAs — called microRNA2118.
The scientists created mutant rice strains by deleting a region of the genome that contains multiple copies of the specific DNA sequence that gives rise to microRNA2118. They found that the mutant strains were sterile and showed abnormalities in the structure of the stamens and pistils.
“This means that the role of microRNA2118 in the proper development of the stamens and pistils is essential for plant fertility,” said Dr. Komiya.

Revealing RNA and probing proteins

In order to delve deeper into how microRNA2118 controlled development of the anther, the scientists then identified which other molecules were affected by microRNA2118.
They found that microRNA2118 triggered the cleavage of long non-coding RNA, producing many tiny RNA molecules, called secondary small RNAs.
“Interestingly, these small RNAs were rich in uracil, one of the four nucleotide bases found in RNA, which is very unusual compared to other small RNAs,” said Dr. Komiya. “We hope to find out the exact function of these small RNAs — and whether this difference in nucleotide composition is important — in further research.”
The scientists also discovered that two Argonaute proteins that were only produced in the stamen were dependent on the presence of microRNA2118. Previous research has shown that Argonaute proteins team up with small RNAs to carry out many regulatory functions, such as silencing genes and cleaving RNA.
Dr. Komiya’s group therefore proposes that the Argonaute proteins may interact with microRNA2118 to trigger production of the secondary small RNAs. The proteins may also interact with the secondary small RNAs to silence specific regions of the genome. The team hopes to elucidate exactly how the Argonaute proteins and secondary small RNAs affect development of the plant reproductive system in further research.
“Reproduction is an important phenomenon of passing genetic information to the next generation and is essential for maintaining a stable yield supply. However, development of the reproductive system is complicated, and many aspects remain unknown,” concluded Dr. Komiya. “This study shows that non-coding RNAs, derived from regions of the genome that were thought to be non-functional, are vital for plant reproduction. Exploring non-coding RNAs further is an exciting and important area of research.”
###
Reference: 19 June 2020, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16637-3
This research was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) Strategic Creative Research Promotion Project PRESTO (creation of next-generation basic technology for control of plant life phenomena in the field) and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (RNA taxonomy).

Provide free rice, pulses for 3 months: Minister

Giving details about the progress for implementation of One Nation One Card Scheme, the minister said 99.72 per cent of PDS beneficiaries has been Aadhaar seeded.
By Express News Service
CHENNAI: Food Minister R Kamaraj on Thursday urged the Centre to provide free supply of rice and pulses to all cardholders in the State for July, August and September. He made the request during a video conference meeting with Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan.
Referring to the pending Custom Milled Rice (CMR) subsidy of Rs 2,609 crore, Kamaraj urged the Union Minister to release the amount immediately to facilitate paddy procurement.Giving details about the progress for implementation of One Nation One Card Scheme, the minister said 99.72 per cent of PDS beneficiaries has been Aadhaar seeded.