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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains


20 September 2019

Why in News?

The scientists at the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) in New Delhi have identified a gene that is involved in regulating the size of rice grain.

Important Facts:

  • The new development represents a new approach towards developing rice varieties that produce bigger and consequently heavier grains.
  • The researchers had found in earlier studies that expression of a particular gene, OsMed15a, was higher at different stages of seed development.
  • The observation led them to explore its role further. They scanned 509 different rice genotypes and found that the nucleotide sequences of the OsMed15agene varied depending on size of grain.
  • OsMed15awas also found to play major role in regulating the expression of three other genes — GW2GW5 and DR11I– which determine grain size and weight.
  • When Researchers suppressed the expression of OsMed15ain transgenic plants using RNAi technology, the seeds became smaller and wider.


About the Transgenic plants:

Transgenic plants are the ones, whose DNA is modified using genetic engineering techniques. The aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. A transgenic plant contains a gene or genes that have been artificially inserted.

About the RNA interference (RNAi):

It is a biological process in which RNA molecules inhibit gene expression or translation, by neutralizing targeted mRNA molecules.

Historically, RNAi was known by other names, including co-suppression, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and quelling.


Facts for Prelims:

King Bibi:

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is called ‘King Bibi’ by his supporters.

Controlled Human Infection Model(CHIM):

In a Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM) study, a well-characterized strain of an infectious agent is given to carefully selected adult volunteers in order to better understand human diseases, how they spread, and find new ways to prevent and treat them.



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