Kyoto Prefectural University has begun offering a strain of “short rice” that is easy to use for plant-based material production and other applications. It is suitable for cultivation in plant factories because it can significantly reduce the cultivation space. A university start-up Miraishoku Research and Development Center will be established, where it will be marketed from next spring. In addition to rice, the startup is also involved in the development of agricultural platforms and edible insects.
Rice plants are usually about 1 m tall, making it difficult to stack them in plant factories. The rice produced at Kyoto Prefectural University has a grass height of only about 20 cm when fully grown. This fits in multiple stages in an incubator. Short growth is based on a mutation in the gibberellin synthesis pathway.
The company is also developing a platform that provides a low environmental impact agricultural system to people who start farming on the side, or breed edible insects. Currently products using mealworms and other insects are developed.