Chinese scientists have discovered a new gene that improves the ability of the rice plant to retain water under drought conditions.

A study published in "Plant Biotechnology" journal and reported by official media on Friday said the gene, called "OsRINGzf1" could reduce cellular water loss in the cells, which increases the plant's ability to retain water in drought conditions.

Rice, in comparison with other cereals like wheat and maize, is more sensitive to soil water deficiency due to being historically grown under flood irrigation conditions. EFE