: How come that even after years of genetic engineering, rice plant still produces that itchy self defense?


I would’ve assumed that after years of genetic engineering and modification, humans removed the plant’s defenses so that it is easier for the farmers to harvest and process the plant.

In: 1

On the contrary we have made sure rice itches more then it used to. A big reason for stunted rice growth which gives low yealds is insects. The itching when harvesting is caused by a self defense mechanism that the plant have against insects. So when we breed the plants for higher yealds we are promoting the genes that causes the plant to itch as it also cause the insects to go for other plants leaving the rice alone, hence the higher yealds. And if you ask any farmer if they prefer insect eaten plants or plants that itch a bit during harvest they will all want the plant that itches during harvest. The itching only lasts for a few hours while the hunger from crop failure lasts until next harvest.