Would a rice by any other genome taste as sweet?

It’s probably fitting that only a few days before Halloween researchers at Nagoya University announced a revolutionary discovery in the field of sugar. They have successfully developed a strain of rice plant that doesn’t produce fluffy white grains, rather they sprout little sacks of sugar water.

The way it works is rather simple. When a boy rice plant and girl rice plant fall in love, sometimes the boys plant will release pollen into the ovule of the girl plant and create a seed which grows to a certain size before it is mercilessly torn from the girl plant, milled to the grain, boiled, and put in a bowl topped with meat and delicious sauces.

However, research has found that in certain cases, such as when girl rice plants get a lucrative job offer and don’t have time to deal with boy plants’ and their gross pollen, their ovules go unfertilized and they instead produce a high-yield sugar water that contains 98 percent sucrose.

Through genetic manipulation the research team was able to enhance this phenomenon and grow a rice plant that produces little pods full of sugar water about the same size as a grain of rice.

▼ News report on the research

This means that sugar can be produced as easily and globally widespread as rice currently is. That being said, even with the delectable sweetness of sugar, many might still be dissuaded by genetically altered food. In addition, with all the rising obesity and diabetes in the world, we have to wonder if we really need more sugar.

Our staff certainly doesn’t

Luckily the answer is yes, because in addition to powering kids into post-Halloween frenzies, sucrose is also a really good biofuel. And compared to other sources such as sugarcane and sugar beets, this “sugar rice” would be far more easy to grow, harvest, and transport on a worldwide scale.

Although still early, this all sounds very promising, and readers were proud of their fellow Japanese citizens for coming up with such a potentially revolutionary energy source.

“This is the result of Japan’s extraordinary passion for improving rice.”
“I’m very curious to see what kind of sake can be made from this.”
“I think Japanese people are too opposed to GM foods to eat this, but it sounds fantastic as a biofuel.”
“Sugarcane is difficult to harvest and transport, but with this we can use existing rice machinery and techniques.”
“I’m glad our scientists are working on things like this rather than weapons.”
“These guys are a shoe-in for next year’s Ig Nobel.”

There were also many complimentary puns to be made such as ine and ii ne which sound like the Japanese word for “rice plant” and “I like it!” respectively. There were also many comments of tensai which means both “genius” and “sugar beet.”

The whole new world of puns and sake that this may open up is intriguing enough, but if this eventually leads to plentiful renewable fuel that also makes car exhaust that smell like cotton candy, then we may be on the verge of a bright future indeed.

Source: CBC News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!